Kenya flag Kenya: Operating a Business in Kenya

Work conditions in Kenya

The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 23,055,88223,733,38123,738,918

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 75.06%74.81%74.56%
Men activity rate 77.98%77.37%76.76%
Women activity rate 72.20%72.30%72.41%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

For Further Statistics
Kenya Bureau of Statistics
Ministry of Labour
For Further Information About the Labour Market
International Labour Organization

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
52 hours per week (60 hours for night workers). Generally, employees work 45 hours a week.In the special economic zones (export processing zones) and in the road construction sector employees are often forced to do non-paid overtime.
Retirement Age
60 years
Working Contracts
The employer is legally obliged to prepare and provide written contracts for all employees hired for more than three consecutive months. The contract must be signed by both the employer and the employee and can specify the contract period if they wish. If it is not specified, it has to indicate the reasons leading to termination of the contract.

During the signature of a work contract, if an employee is illiterate, the content of the contract must be clearly explained.

Labour Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, To obtain a summary of the labour regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
Minimum wages vary by job type and location. A 12% hike of the minimum wage was decided in 2015. The minimum wage is around USD 170/month for a skilled worker and around USD 107/month for a regular worker. Workers in the agricultural sectors are less well paid than in other sectors. Their minimum wage is around USD 66/month.

For more information on minimum wage per sector in Kenya, consult the website Wage Indicator.                              

Average Wage
USD 5,032 per year in the formal sector.
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 6%
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: An employee must contribute to national social security fund and hospitalization insurance (about 6% and 1% of his or her salary).

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
The Law on work relations provides that workers, including those in the export processing zones (EPZs), are free to form or join a union. The law grants the right to strike, but this is subject to the exhaustion of conciliation procedures and a formal notice given seven days in advance to the government and the employer. The right to strike is generally respected and conflicts are resolved peacefully. In the informal sector, associations or unions provide a certain level of care and education, but have no bargaining power concerning collective agreements.
Labour Unions
Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU-K)
Unionisation Rate
Kenya has around a million of unionized workers.
Labour Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Labour

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Latest Update: May 2024