In the event of your employee’s death, you are required as the employer to give notice of the death to the labour officer or, if there is no labour officer, to your district commissioner.
The labour laws requires that you also ensure that the legal representatives or beneficiaries of the deceased such as children, parents or relatives are paid all the wage , any other remuneration and property due to the employee as at the date of death within thirty days of submitting the proof of their death.
Afterwards you should provide the evidence of this payment to a labour officer or the district commissioner within seven days.
What happens if nobody claims those wages or properties?
Section 24(4) provides that if 3 months elapse and nobody steps forward to claim the wages, remunerations or properties of the deceased employee, it is your work as the employer to hand over everything to the labour officer or the district commissioner which will now be subject to the Law of Succession Act (Cap. 160) or any other written law applicable to the disposal of a deceased person’s property.
So it now ceases to be your burden to carry but that of the Law of Succession.
And In instances when the employee death is caused by an accident…
You should, send to the labour officer or, if there is no labour officer to a district commissioner a report in the prescribed form.
Also, section 34(1) of the Work Injury Benefits ACT 2007(WIBA) states that if an employee dies as a result of an injury caused by an accident, you are required to pay a compensation to the dependents of the employee in accordance with the provisions of the Third Schedule, subject to the maximum and minimum amount determined by the Minister after consultation with the Council.
Also, note that this compensation is not subject to any deductions lest you violate the labour laws on compensation.
Additionally, as the employer, you are liable to pay reasonable expenses for the funeral of the deceased employee subject to the maximum amount determined by the Minister, after consultation with the council.
So your employee’s death is an instance that is felt by the whole organization and is not to be taken lightly.
An important thing to note is…
The Employment ACT 2007 and the Work Injury Benefits Act 2007 work hand in hand to ensure that your relationship with your employee is legal and well defined.
Keeping yourself well informed on these kinds of legal requirements is an essential requirement for any employer operating in Kenya.
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