Compliance and Statutory

All You Need to Know on Termination of Employment in Kenya


Termination of employment in Kenya is common among employers and professionals.  It is important for them to understand the laws around termination to avoid legal issues after terminating an employee. An employee leaving the company can happen by choice or by their employer.

Common laws of termination of employment in Kenya

There are four common laws that govern lawful termination. They include:

Termination of employment by agreement

This is where both the employer and employee agree to bring a contract of employment to an end in accordance with the agreement.  For example, when an internship ends.


This happens when an employee due to breach of contract decides to resign from employment

Automatic termination

A contract can automatically come to an end in the, for instance, death or loss of the business. When the specified terms of a contractual relationship come to an end.

Termination of employment by an employer

An employer can also terminate the contract. However, there is a need to agree with the law and contract relating to letting go of an employee.

What can make an employer terminate me?

According to the Employment Act sections 45(2) and 46. An employer has to prove for termination of employment in Kenya. Otherwise, it is termed as illegal. An employer can let go of an employee due to:

  • Poor performance
  • Misconduct
  • Physical Incapacity
  • Participation in an illegal strike
  • Retrenchment

What is a Notice Period?

An employer is allowed by Kenyan law to terminate an employee without notice. However, an employer is required to pay you a sum equal to the salary you would have received during the notice period. In addition, if you quit without notice to your employer, you are required to compensate your employer for the duration they should have served the notice.

According to the law, a termination notice should be in writing. In case the employee doe not understand the notice, the employer should have the notice is explained orally in a language the employee understands.

Final thoughts on Termination of Employment in Kenya

The labor laws on termination of employment in Kenya has to be fair to avoid legal issues. There provide a guiding system that brings sanity and fairness to the employment sector. An employer is expected to provide valid reasons for termination, otherwise, it will be termed as unfair termination according to Employment Act Section 45(2). It is important for both the employer and employee to understand these laws in order to safeguard their rights.

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