Trizzer Kimani often advises clients that it is important that a nanny’s mind is at peace.
“It is not just nannies: any employed person performs better when they are not worried,” she says.
Not having a medical cover, she says, is a source of worry. “The employee may not be worried when they are well but they will worry when their health takes a turn for the worse,” she says, “or when the health of a close dependent – like a child becomes bad.”
Today, if Kanyeki was to get a house help who has children she would make sure that they are all registered as dependants on NHIF.
This way, she says, when the nanny’s child becomes sick they can access medical care.
“Registering the nanny and her dependants on NHIF makes her feel valued and appreciated. It also increases nanny retention,” Kanyeki says.
According to Trizzer, the nanny will have less to worry about and hence concentrate on performing well at work.
Regarding placing nannies on a medical insurance cover, Trizzer has preference for NHIF. She says: “The premiums are affordable; especially considering that nannies are not paid so much.”
Since 2011, it is a requirement by the Kenyan government that every employee in Kenya – including nannies – be registered with NHIF.
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Currently the standard monthly fee (premium) is Sh500 for self-employed persons – a category that applies to house helps too.
However, an employer can also opt to buy private medical insurance for their nanny. The only implication would be exorbitantly high costs.
At Nanni Employee Consulting the lowest paid nanny earns Sh11, 000.
“From this money we get Sh500 for NHIF and Sh200 for NSSF (the employer also contributes Sh200 for NSSF),” Trizzer says.
There is no data that shows the average monthly salary of a nanny. However, as from 2015, new government regulations directed that domestic workers be paid nothing less than Sh10, 954.
This amount has however been contested by many employers; many who complain that they cannot afford such an amount.
In many households, according to a random survey we conducted, house helps are paid anything between Sh4, 000 and Sh8, 000.
Even so, Trizzer argues, a prudent employer should ensure that their nanny is registered on NHIF.