By Kamadi Amata
Members of parliament on Wednesday voted to approve a law that now bars employers from seeking clearance certificates from persons they have no intention to hire.
Legislators voted to pass the Employment (Amendment) Bill (No79) of 2019 sponsored by Nominated MP Gideon Keter.
The proposed law mandates an employer to carry out background checks on prospective employees after granting an offer of employment.
Kenyans seeking jobs, especially in state agencies, are usually required to provide clearance notices from the Higher Education Loans Board HELB, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Credit Reference Bureau, Kenya Revenue Authority, and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (Good conduct certificate).
The nominated MP moved the Bill on grounds that most of the unemployed consist of persons below the age of 35 years hence unable to afford clearance certificates required by employers for purposes of employment.
Eyes are now on President Uhuru Kenyatta who is expected to assent to the proposed law to give it effect.
Clearance certificates cost job seekers over Sh5,000. Some of the certificates are renewed annually at about Sh1,000.
“It is, therefore, necessary for an employer to require an applicant to submit the mandatory requirements as a condition for confirmation of employment,” he said.
An analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office projected that state agencies issue clearance certificates for purposes of compliance with Chapter Six of the Constitution net over Sh750 million.