On Tuesday, April 5, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed five parliamentary bills into law, including the Employment (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Nominated MP Gideon Keter sponsored the bill. Job seekers have applauded it for making the job search process easier.
According to a statement from Hon Keter,when he presented the bill to Parliament “ Members of Parliament have unanimously supported the Employment Amendment Bill without any objection as the debate concluded. Previously as job seekers may recall, before introduction of this amendment, job seekers were tasked with the responsibility of running criminal background checks on themselves so as to secure a mere job interview.” Stated Keter.
However, now a cure has come through this amendment whereby an employer shall no longer perceive job seekers as a criminal before they apply for a job. The solution to all these bottlenecks is that an employer will no longer ask job seekers for such documents as KRA, DCI, HELB, CRB & EACC clearance certificates until or unless an offer of employment is guaranteed.” He added
“Job seeking should not be an adventure where job seekers must prove that they are not a criminal or haven’t engaged in any crime in the past. This country is not graduating criminals from universities and colleges every year. These are young men and women who are more than ready to offer their skills and knowledge for the advancement of this nation’s greatness.” Said Keter
Employers will only be able to request clearance certificates from bodies such as the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) after making a job offer, as opposed to now when employers require prospective employees to submit clearance certificates as part of the application process.
Because of the charges associated with applying for these certificates, it often costs job seekers money in fruitless job searches.
“In respect to recruitment, an employer shall not require an employee for a contract of service to submit any clearance certificates for which payment is required unless such employer intends to enter into a written contract of service with the employee,” the law reads in part.
The Bills were presented to the President for signature by Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto at a brief ceremony attended by Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, Attorney General Paul Kihara and Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi.
Also present were Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Amos Kimunya, Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee in the National Assembly Kanini Kega and Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai.
“On its part, the new Employment (Amendment) Act gives reprieve to job seekers by requiring employers to only ask for clearance or compliance certificates “upon granting an offer of employment to a prospective employee.” Previously, prospective employees were required to avail such documentation during job application,” the Office of the President read in part.
Keter who sponsored the bill welcomed the culmination of the process.
“It is now finished, l have delivered as you asked. The law that had red tape and creating unnecessary stumbling blocks while seeking job opportunity is cured,” he wrote.
Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday at State House, Nairobi signed into law five
Other parliamentary bills signed to law by president Uhuru were the 2022 Supplementary I Appropriation Bill (Supplementary Budget), the 2021 Copyright (Amendment) Bill, the 2020 Kenya Deposit Insurance (Amendment) Bill and the 2022 Industrial Training (Amendment) Bill,