By Perminus Wainaina
It’s that time again when I answer questions asked by our readers.
Here are my answers to the five questions
1. Can you be employed on a contract forever?
There are three forms of employment contract in Kenya. We have temporary contract which could be employment for a few days or weeks, permanent contract which expires on retirement and a contractual contract which is employment for a defined period. When it comes to a contractual agreement, the relationship is terminated by expiry of time.
In Kenya, majority of employers will have their staff on one year contract. Some are fixed while others are renewable. You will find many employees working in the NGO sector on contract due to funding and the project based nature of the job.
Can you be employed on a contract forever? The employment act considers each contract as separate and distinct. Upon expiry of a contract either party can enter into another contract with the same or new terms. That means the duration of employment can change and the same goes for salary. It is also legal for an employer to keep renewing a contract.
2. Hello! Am a teacher employed by board of management in a secondary school! I have never had any rest apart from holidays in every successful years I have in the school,(2013-upto date) how much has this school denied me? Or is it for TSC teachers only?
An employee is entitled to 21 working leave days. Leave is applicable for anyone who has worked for more than two months and it does not matter whether you work for government, parastatal or private sector. It is prorated for those who have worked for less than 12 months meaning if you have worked for nine months then leave days will be calculated as 21/12*9. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that an employee takes leave. Where an employee does not take leave and either resigns or their employment is terminated they are entitled to compensation. In your case, your employer owes you 63 days work which you can take as leave or be compensated via payroll.
3. Suppose you have a sick sibling with you, how should this one be treated? I was deducted one-day salary for attending to my sick sister after working for this employer for more than 8 months.
Unfortunately when it comes to a contract of employment, the agreement is between you as an individual and the company. The law does not recognize a sibling and therefore the company is justified in deducting the one day off.
However it also depends on your employer and the relationship you have. If it’s cordial, majority would look at it from a humanitarian basis and not charge you but if you are to follow the law strictly, they have a case in not paying you for the time off.
4. How should I email a cover letter?
You should always paste the content of the cover letter to the body of the email. Why? Because that is the first thing I’ll see when I open your email. You should also attach the cover letter incase i need to print as printed emails don’t look that professional. When it comes to a cover letter, the goal is to showcase why you are best suited for the job by demonstrating your skills and expertise. It shouldn’t be a repetition of what you have in your CV.
5. I am a manager earning 150K but my salary was increased by 5K, Is this fair?
There’s always a tug of war between employees and employers when it comes to salary. And this is common where you don’t have KPI’s (key performance indicators) and an appraisal system in place. It is important to find out an employer’s expectations before taking a job and the reward scheme in place if you hit target. That way, both parties can understand where the 5K is coming from.
Have any HR question? Leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer in my next article.
Perminus Wainaina is the Managing Partner & Head of Recruitment at Corporate Staffing Services Ltd.