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Kenya Employment Guide

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in Kenya




Kenyan Shilling (Ksh)


Swahili (Kiswahili), English

Payroll Frequency


GDP per Capita


Employer Tax

250 KES

Supplementary Guide for Employment and Expansion in Kenya

Talent Overview

Kenya has a market-based economy. Located on the Indian Ocean coastline, Kenya opens the door to the eastern Africa Market for businesses, making it a hub of economic, commercial, financial, and logistics activities in East Africa. The country has a development programme named “Vision 2030” from 2008 to 2030. Under this, the Kenyan government has been making continuous efforts to improve the country’s economic status. Major Industries in Kenya include agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, financial services, mining, etc.

Major economic hubs:

Nairobi, Mombasa

Skills in demand:

Accounting and Finance, Human Resource Management, Business Administration, Marketing, Material procurement and management, Law, Education, Medicine, and Architecture

Map 11

Local Universities

The top local universities in Kenya are as follows:

Uni1 10

University of Nairobi


Local: 1

World: 953

Uni2 14

Kenyatta University


Local: 2

World: 2,277

Uni3 Kenya

Strathmore University


Local: 3

World: 3,213

Uni4 Kenya

United States International University Africa


Local: 4

World: 3,980

Uni4 15

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology


Local: 5

World: 4,143

Salary Data

Average Salary of some common jobs in Kenya:

Job Title Average Monthly Salary (in KES) Average Monthly Salary (in USD)
Financial Manager 308,000 2,177
General Manager 260,000 1,838
Business Development Manager 236,000 1,668
Financial Analyst 192,000 1,357
Business Analyst 187,000 1,322
Project Manager 177,000 1,251
Talentsource 40

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards:

Advance-Africa, bestjobs, Kenyancareer, Fuzu, and brightermonday

Number of LinkedIn users:


Top Recruitment Agencies:

Corporatestaffing, manpowerservicesgroup, Flexi-personnel

Employing in Kenya

Employers hiring talents in Kenya should follow all the labor laws, payroll, benefits, and compliances of the country. Having good knowledge of employment laws along with benefits and compensations helps employers to attract the right candidate for the company and reduce employee turnover while managing all the compliances.

This section gives employers brief information about the same.

Employee Contract

In Kenya, employment contracts are governed by the Law of Contract Act, 2002 (revised 2012). The contract should be presented in a language that the employee understands. It can be of fixed or unlimited period of time. In the case of a fixed employment contract, the contract ends itself with the end of the period irrespective of dismissal or resignation.

Probation Period

The standard probationary period in Kenya is a maximum of 6 months. However, the period can be extended to a further 6 months, after discussion with the employee.

Public and Provincial Holidays

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year’s Day Public holiday
29 Mar Good Friday Public holiday
1 Apr Easter Monday Public holiday
11 Apr Idd ul-Fitr (Tentative Date) Public holiday
1 May Labour Day/May Day Public holiday
1 Jun Madaraka Day Public holiday
10 Oct Huduma Day Public holiday
20 Oct Mashujaa Day Public holiday
21 Oct Mashujaa Day observed Public holiday
31 Oct Diwali Public holiday
12 Dec Jamhuri Day Public holiday
25 Dec Christmas Day Public holiday
26 Dec Boxing Day Public holiday

As per rule, if a public holiday falls on Sunday, then employers have to give that holiday on Monday. 

Employee Leaves

Type of leave Time Period Mandatory
Annual leave/Earned Leave  21 days Yes
Sick Leave 14 days (first 7 days fully paid, next 7 days half-paid) Yes
Maternity Leave 12 weeks Yes



Payroll 1

Payroll Cycle

In Kenya, employers usually follow a monthly payroll cycle and make payment at the end of the month.

Payroll 2

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Kenya is KES 15,120 per month.

Payroll 3

Overtime Pay

Normal working hours shall not be more than 52 hours in week, distributed evenly over six days of the week. 

Employers are liable to pay overtime to their employees as following:


13th Month Pay

There is no provision for paying 13th month pay in the country. It solely depends upon employers if they wish to pay any bonus to employees.

Employee Benefits

Employees are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Maternity leave
  • Paternity Leave
  • Parental Leave in case of adoption
  • Retirement benefits
  • Health Insurance under NHIF
  • Social Security under NSSF
  • Housing Allowance/ Housing accommodation
  • Clean water supply for housing accommodation
  • Food if agreed during contract
  • Medical help for illness


Employer Payroll Tax

Employers must retain income tax and social security contributions from the salaries of employees. In Kenya, the PAYE system is used to calculate these deductions. Every month, employer has to submit the deducted money to the KRA (Kenya Revenue Authority)

Employer Contributions Employer Payroll Tax
National Social Security Fund KSH 200 per month
National  Industrial Training Levy (NITA) 50 KES per employee

Employee Payroll Tax

Employee Contributions Employee Payroll Tax
National Social Security Fund (Pension) KSH 200 per month
National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) ( Applicable on employees earning above 100,000 KES / month. From 1st Jan, 2022 tax relief will be applicable at 15% of the amount contributed) 1700 KES

Employee Income Tax

Annual Taxable Income (KES) Tax Rate (%)
0-288,000 10
Next 100,000 25
Over 388,000 30


Value Added Tax (VAT) is applicable in Kenya, and it ranges between 0% – 16% depending on the nature of the goods.

Offboarding & Termination

As per Employment Act, employer needs to follow fair termination procedure as per the law or as per the contract signed between employee and employer. Employer has to give notice in writing and give a valid reason for termination.

The Notice period for Kenyan employees will be up to 28 days.

Yes, in case of redundancy, the employer has to pay a severance of not less than 15 days’ pay for each year completed of service.

Visa and Immigration

For foreign nationals, to work legally in the country, there are some strict immigration rules. Under that, it is mandatory to obtain the following documents to work in Kenya.

  • Class D Permit
  • Special Pass
  • Alien Card (if stay is longer than 90 days)
Visa 42
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Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Overtime Working Hours Compensation
>52 hours 1.5 times of normal hourly rate
Employee working on rest day or public holidays 2 times of normal hourly rate

Visa & Immigration