Teachers will soon have enhanced maternity and paternity leaves with full pay, Teachers Service Commission boss Nancy Macharia announced Tuesday.
New mothers will now be entitled to 120 days of maternity leave, up from the statutory 90 days, while fathers will have 21 days of paternity leave, up from the current 14 days, she added.
Nancy Macharia made the announcement in a February 10 notice as she urged teachers to apply for the leave through the Human Resource Management Information System.
Teachers are now also entitled to 45 days of pre-adoptive leave.
Maternity leave begins on the date of delivery, and the teacher would not forfeit her annual vacation on account of taking maternity leave.
For male teachers, their paternity leave begins in the duration of their spouse’s maternity leave.
The pre-adoptive leave starts on the date of adoption.
The extended leave was introduced in the 2021-2025 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that teachers’ unions signed with TSC last year.
The deal, however, did not go down well with teachers as it lacked a monetary component following the expiry of the previous deal that saw teachers benefit from Ksh54 billion ($475.1 million) spread over five years.
“The Code of Regulations for Teachers (2015) read together with the CBA (2021-2025) have specific provisions for maternity, paternity, and pre-adoptive leave,” Ms. Macharia said.
“In line with the said provisions, all teachers are eligible for only one leave at a time.
The purpose of this circular is to inform you of the changes which came into effect from July 1 2021.”
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (Kuppet) are trying to renegotiate the CBA with the TSC but have remained cagey about the progress of the talks.
Last month, Kuppet gave the TSC 21 days (which lapsed last week) to give them a response or they would call a nationwide strike that could disrupt national examinations scheduled for next month.