Ben Shinali, Member of Parliament for Ikolomani, has introduced the Unemployment Insurance Bill. This legislative proposal aims to establish the Unemployment Insurance Fund, a dedicated financial mechanism funded by both employers and employees. Its purpose is to provide critical financial assistance to individuals who experience job loss or their dependents.
At the heart of the Unemployment Insurance Bill is the creation of a robust safety net for Kenyan workers. The Unemployment Insurance Fund will function as a temporary financial cushion, offering support until individuals secure new employment.
What sets this fund apart is its reliance on contributions from both employers and employees. This ensures a consistent and sustainable source of financial aid for those in need.
To effectively manage the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the proposed legislation includes the establishment of the Unemployment Insurance Authority. This autonomous body will be responsible for overseeing the fund, ensuring fair distribution of resources, and providing expert advice to the government on matters related to unemployment insurance.
While the Unemployment Insurance Bill aims to support as many workers as possible, it also acknowledges that certain categories of government employees may be exempt from accessing benefits from this fund. The specifics of these exclusions will be determined by the government’s regulatory framework, with the overarching goal of ensuring responsible use of the fund’s resources.
The bill takes inspiration from South Africa, where employees contribute 1% of their pay, matched by a 1% contribution from their employers, towards a similar fund. This benchmark will help inform the contribution structure for the Unemployment Insurance Fund in Kenya.
Overall, the Unemployment Insurance Bill represents a vital step towards providing financial security and assistance to individuals and their families during periods of job loss, ultimately fostering a more resilient workforce in Kenya.