Bill seeks to compel employers to take interns, pay them well

NAIROBI, KENYA: The National Assembly has set in motion plans to compel employers to offer an internship to young people who have attained a diploma or other higher qualifications.

According to a proposed law sponsored by Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, it should be mandatory for all public and private organisations that have over 50 employees to absorb interns.

This will apply to applicants who have attained a diploma, undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications.

The Bill has been submitted to the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and is awaiting formal introduction in the floor of the House.

Barasa in the Bill which seeks to amend section 76 of the Employment Act (2007), wants employers to pay a minimum wage to the interns they take in. He proposes the addition of a new sub-section in the Act.

It requires a Two-thirds majority to sail through the House.

“An employer who employs more than fifty employees shall offer an internship to applicants who have attained a diploma, undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications,” reads the Bill in part.

 The bill adds: “The employer must ensure that the number of applicants offered internship is equivalent to five percent of the total employer’s workforce.”

The employers must maintain the interns throughout the year.

To ensure that all employers do not breach the new legislative proposal in-case it is passed into the Kimilili MP wants them to file annual internship compliance returns with the Director of Employment.

Mr. Barasa yesterday told The Standard most thousands young people are unable to get jobs because they do not have the requisite experience, despite having graduated and holding various certificates.

“This Bill if passed into law will see many young job-seekers easily clinch employment opportunities since they will have met the requirement of having work experience,” explained the legislator.

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