The National Employment Authority is flexing its muscles. This article looks at what employers need to know regarding their obligations to the Authority and, yes, this means more paperwork and more compliance things…

Who is the National Employment Authority?

Its full name is the National Youth Employment Authority (“the Authority”) established under the National Employment Authority Act (“the Act”).

What are the objectives of the Act?

The objectives are quite noble: –

  • To give effect to Articles 55(c) and 56(c) of the Constitution (places an obligation on the State to take affirmative action steps to secure access to employment for the youth, minorities and marginalised people);
  • To provide for the maintenance of a database of all Kenyans seeking employment;
  • To provide a framework to facilitate increased employment of Kenyans in the national government, county government, state organs, national and county government entities and in the private sector;
  • To facilitate and promote equity and diversity, and eliminate discrimination in the employment of Kenyans;

What are the functions of the Authority?

Its functions include: –

  • To develop methodologies for employment measurement, management and promotion;
  • To facilitate, continuous training and other activities of Kenyans to improve their chances of employment and work skills;
  • To register persons seeking employment;
  • To facilitate the employment and placement of job seekers in formal and informal or any other form of employment, locally and internationally;
  • To circulate in a timely manner job vacancies advertised to job seekers throughout Kenya through appropriate means including social media;
  • To provide counselling to the unemployed and undertake activities to promote employment;


According to Section 9(c), the Authority has the power to obtain information relevant to the discharge of its function.

Whenever a vacancy arises in a public or State office at the national government level, or in the private sector, the Authority is supposed to circulate details of the vacancy to job seekers.

According to Section 36, the Authority shall also facilitate placement of students at tertiary institutions in positions of internship or attachment during and after completion of their study.

So, what are the obligations of an employer?obligation

The Authority has so far placed two advertisements in the local dailies during the month of June. The last one published last week gave employers until 8th July 2019 to submit the workers’ profiles.

From the first advertisement, it was not clear whether the notice was issued under the Employment Act or under the National Employment Authority Act. We visited the Authority’s offices and their officials confirmed that the directive was issued pursuant to Section 79 in Part X of the Employment Act which places an obligation on employers to file returns with the Director of Employment containing information on the full names, age, sex, occupation, date of employment, nationality and education level of each employee by 31st January each year.

There is no Director of Employment in Kenya. The profiles should be submitted to the Authority’s offices, though an employer may opt to send the profiles accompanied by a forwarding letter to the Authority by email;

In the same Part X (Sections 76 to 78), there is an obligation on an employer to notify the director of every vacancy occurring in his establishment, business or workplace and of the filling of the vacancy or abolition of the position. There is also an obligation to notify the nearest labour office of any lay-off or termination of employment.

The notifications should be conveyed within 2 weeks of the filling of the post or of its abolition or of any lay-off or termination, as the case may be.

According to last week’s advert, employers are also required to submit returns to the Authority of:-

  • Notification of vacancies
  • Notification of filling and abolition of posts, and
  • Notification of termination of employment.

Does this apply to each and every employer?

According to Section 76 of the Employment Act, this obligation only applies to employers with over 25 employees (Smiling).

What if I’m not bothered to comply?

The penalty for non-compliance is a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.

***THE END***

About Anne Babu

Anne is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the Founding Partner of Anne Babu & Co. She has practised employment law for over 12 years and her employment law practice has been recognized by the prestigious Chambers & Partners. Anne cares about employers and their labour issues.


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  1. Milcah says:

    I always enjoy your articles since they are very insightful. Thank you for your contributions.
    Kindly enlighten me, How many staff should a HR officer be responsible for especially when they are alone in the department?

    1. Anne Babu says:

      Thank you. I’m sorry I can’t help you there, that’s not a legal matter but a HR one.

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