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Government bars public workers from swapping leave days for money

Government through the Head of Public Service Felix Koskei has barred workers from exchanging leave days for money.

Speaking on Thursday at the Kenya School of Government, Koskei instructed the staff to only carry forward 15 days by June 2024, a decision that will probably result in financial savings for the government.

Koskei observed that there is a propensity for employees in the public sector to forgo their vacation days and request monetary reimbursements.

“If you told some people to go for leave now, they can go for two years, others for six months, why are you sticking in that office? The president goes on leave, his deputy goes on leave, Prime CS goes on leave, what is this that you don’t want to happen while you’re away in the office?” he posed. 

“So we have decided that by the end of this financial year at June 30, 2024, the only number of leave days carried forward are 15. Secondly, there is no commutation of the leave days for money so start going on leave today. If you have to go for two years, just go.”

Koskei cautioned that the government would not tolerate workers who are afraid to leave their duties in the hands of others, terming it an indicator of corruption.

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“You can’t commute your days into money, we cannot pay for corruption or inefficiency or people who want to hold their positions,” he directed. 

“Let us mentor others to take over after us by giving them a chance. So, Principal Secretaries and chairmen, please go and call for all leave balances and let everyone give a plan by June 30, 2024.”

Every employee is entitled to at least 21 days of paid leave for every 12 months of employment, as per the Employment Act of 2007.  

The law permits an employee to split the annual leave up during the year.

The law also states that unless a written agreement between the employer and employee, the first part of the leave shall consist of at least two uninterrupted working weeks, paid in full. 

“Where in a contract of service an employee is entitled to leave days in excess of the minimum 21 days, the employer and the employee may agree on how to utilize the leave days,” reads part of the Act. 

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