Kenya has a population of more than 50 million people, with major industries including manufacturing, agriculture, and services. There are many types of companies that can be formed in Kenya including limited partnerships, public companies, and more. Along with various registrations, companies must also apply for a business permit to begin operations.

Payroll and Tax Considerations:

  • Employment contracts must be in writing if the duration of the contract is more than 3 months
  • Minimum wage varies by region and profession, but the current minimum wage is 14,900 KES per month
  • Kenya uses a Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) system
  • The standard work week cannot exceed 52 hours over 6 working days
  • Social security taxes are withheld by employers and sent to the National Social Security Fund and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)
  • Foreign workers can only obtain a work permit if their presence is a benefit to Kenya and the position cannot be filled by a Kenyan national

HR and Statutory Requirements

  • All employees are entitled to a minimum of 21 days of annual leave for every 12 months of continuous service at the employee full rate of pay
  • 10 days of leave can be carried over to the following year
  • Employees who have worked for the same employer for 2 months are entitled to a minimum of 14 days sick leave. The first 7 days are paid the regular rate and the remaining days at half pay
  • Female employees receive 3 months of paid maternity leave
  • Fathers are entitled to 2 weeks of paternity leave

Holidays in Kenya

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • April 15 – Good Friday
  • April 18 – Easter Monday
  • May 1 – Labour Day / May Day
  • May 2 – Labour Day / May Day Observed
  • May 4 – Eid al-Fitr
  • June 1 – Madaraka Day
  • October 10 – Huduma Day
  • October 20 – Mashujaa Day
  • December 12 – Jamhuri Day
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 26 – Boxing Day
  • December 27 – Day off for Christmas Day

If you’re just getting started or need to improve operations in Kenya, we can help. Blue Marble has created a cloud-based payroll platform with customized reporting to give you real-time access to your payroll across all countries and currencies. We provide a dedicated US-based service team and in-country experts in Kenya to help when questions come up. Talk to us today about simplifying your operations in Kenya and ensuring compliance for your global workforce.