Law of Contract
In Kenya, employment is governed by the general law of contract, as much as by the principles of common law. Thus, employment is basically seen as an individual relationship negotiated by the employee and the employer according to their special needs. Parliament has passed laws specifically dealing with different aspects of the employer-employee relationship. These laws define the terms and conditions of employment, and consist mainly of four Acts of Parliament:
The Employment Act (Cap. 226) and the regulation of Wages and Conditions of Employment Act (Cap. 229) make rules governing wages, housing, leave and rest, health and safety, the special position of juveniles and women and termination of employment. The latter Act, in addition, sets up a process through which wages and conditions of employment can be regulated by the Minister.
The Factories Act (Cap. 514) deals with the health, safety and welfare of an employee who works in a factory.
The Workmen’s Compensation Act (Cap. 236) provides for ways through which an employee who is injured when on duty may be compensated by the employer.
The Employment Act does not make any provisions for wages in general. The minimum wage is dealt with by the Regulations of Wages and Conditions of Employment Act.