MPs pursue Bill for integrity report “only” from job seekers upon shortlisting

MPs pursue Bill for integrity report “only” from job seekers upon shortlisting

Kenya’s Members of Parliament now seek amendments to the law that requires Kenyans seeking jobs to produce integrity report only after being shortlisted for recruitment.

Inside the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill, 2022, if passed by lawmakers, will see only an integrity report produced by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

Current provisions require applicants to obtain clearance with the EACC ahead of applying for jobs in government, counties, parastatals and other State agencies for a fee.

“Where a public entity is recruiting staff, it shall, within seven days after shortlisting candidates for any position for which appointment is considered, submit the list of all the shortlisted candidates to the commission for integrity suitability verification,” reads part of the Bill.

EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak said the changes to the law will ease the burden on first-time jobseekers.

“We agreed with MPs that there are so many documents needed when one is seeking employment. For a first-time job seeker, those documents require money and for one document, they require a minimum of Ksh.2,500. If it is four documents, one needs Ksh.10,000 yet these are jobless Kenyans,” said Mbarak.

The Bill coincides with Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 which granted a reprieve for job seekers where the employer is only required to ask for a Certificate of Clearance (CoC) or compliance certificate after offering of employment letter.

The Bill was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 25, 2022.

This is opposed to an incident where the job seeker was required by law to submit the documents, which are chargeable at a fee during the job application.

Chargeable documents for job seekers are usually obtained from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI), which issues a Certificate of good conduct, the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) which issues CoC and the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).

The Bill was Gazetted by a Gazette Notice dated October 8, 2021, and is entirely aimed at addressing increased employee burnout and promoting employees’ work-life balance.

Specifically, the Bill amended the Employment Act, 2007 to introduce an employee’s ‘right to disconnect’. This is a workplace concept that is gaining increasing attention, globally, more so following the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on labour relations.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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