Employers have opposed proposed amendments to the law that will make them fund the Universal Health Care (UHC).
Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) said the proposed amendments under Section 2(a) seek to introduce provisions for the employer to make contributions to match an employees’ contributions to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
FKE Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Mugo told National Assembly’s Health Committee led by Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege that the bill does not take into account the cost implications of the provisions of the bill on employers and the justification for the said proposal.
Ms Mugo noted that about 84 per cent of Kenyans are employed in the informal sector.
“The employers should not be the ones to bear the burden of healthcare for the 84 per cent in the informal sector. Government can explore use of mobile phone technology to raise money for UHC,” she said.
She added: “The responsibility and provision of decent work does not only lie with the employer providing additional benefits to the employees, but also looks at the sustainability of business enterprises and the net effect on employment creation. Unless the employers are cushioned from the adverse effects of the proposed changes including the added costs of the proposed bill, the same would be counter-productive and unsustainable.”
According the Employers, should the amendments be adopted, this will increase the cost of doing business in Kenya at a time when the Government is striving to ease the cost.
Of concern to FKE, the proposal in the Statute Law Miscellaneous Bill on NHIF Act does not consider that most employers already provide medical covers to employees and their families through private insured schemes.