2018 was a year characterised by numerous changes in the laws affecting the employment landscape. Top among these changes was the introduction of the National Housing Development Fund and the tabling of the Data Protection Bill, 2018 in Parliament, which has far-reaching implications on the right of privacy for employees.

The Finance Act, 2018 introduced the requirement for all employers in Kenya to pay to the National Housing Development Fund 1.5% of each employee's monthly basic salary with an equivalent contribution being deducted and made by employers, subject to a maximum monthly contribution of KES 5,000. This requirement came into force on 1 July 2018. Regarding privacy, the Data Protection Bill, 2018 was tabled in 2018 and seeks to promote the protection of personal data, as well as to regulate the manner in which personal data may be processed.

The Bill largely borrows from the UK General Data Protection Regulation. Employment history forms part of the information that is considered to be personal data. This means that such information would be subject to strict requirements when it comes to its use and dissemination.

Some of the 2018 cases worth noting include the case of Jacqueline Arkle v Five Forty Aviation Limited, which dealt with issues of defamation and unfair termination, and the case of Barclays Bank of Kenya Ltd & 1 other v Gladys Muthoni & 20 others, which considered the correct procedure for notifying employees of impending redundancy.

We have dealt with these issues in our comprehensive paper which can be found here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.