Casualization and Its Effects in Kenya

Topics: Employment, Labour relations, Labour market flexibility Pages: 10 (3506 words) Published: April 26, 2010
Impact of Labor Laws in Mitigating
Effects of casualisation in Kenya
Humphrey Mwangi              HD333-BOI-1413/2009 Franklin Mutwiri              HD333-BOI-1604/2009 Patrick Mutai              HD333-BOI-0087/2009
John Warihe              HD333-BOI-1268/2009
Susan Awuor              HD333-BOI-1222/2009
Mary Mumira              HD333-BOI-1246/2009
James Otunga              HD333-BOI-1421/2009
Kevin Kariuki              HD333-BOI-1249/2009
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology CBD Campus

Presented to E. O. Achoch

This study explores and examines the actual impact of labor legislation in mitigating the disturbing issue of casualisation of work in Kenya. The increase in casualisation in the country is a subject of great controversy. Increasingly casual employees are filling positions that are permanent in nature. Behind employee vulnerability in the country is the high levels of unemployment and accompanying poverty. Poverty has bred a dangerous work environment where many desperate job seekers in the labor force are willing to take any job for survival purposes rather than dignity. This is a big challenge for trade unions in their pursuit to protect and advance workers’ rights and foster decent work conditions. The study attempts to cover the following as per the terms of reference: What exactly is casualisation of work, How wide spread is it in Kenya, What difference has new provision in labor legislation made on casuals according to gender, occupation, status etc, How Labor Laws Have Affected Aspects Of Casual Workers rights, do labor laws affect the family of casual workers communities and local stakeholders such as trade union and NGO’s and what are the views of employers’ in terms of impact of labor laws and casualisation of work and their sustainability. Keywords: Federation of Kenyan Employers, Standard Employment Regulation

Impact of Labor Laws in Mitigating
Effects of casualisation in Kenya
Collins Dictionary defines casualisation as altering of working practices so that regular workers are re-employed on a casual or short-term basis. Casual employment is also referred in some literatures as “precariousness” a familiar term in employment (Burgess and Campbell 1998; Weller and Webber 2001; Hunter 2006). Precariousness is seen in terms of bundles of job characteristics to do with insecurity and poor quality of life. It is characterized with lack of regulatory protection and working time insecurity Casualisation of a workforce is therefore reduction in full or part time employees and their replacement with employees who are called in on an as-needed or casual basis. This can reduce the employees working conditions by reducing the commitment from the employer to them, and giving the employer opportunities to control them by reducing their hours. Casual workers can be more difficult for employers to manage as they have no guarantee of finding available employees at any time, but they have the advantage of only employing people when they have the work for them An elastic approach to casualisation refer to non-standard and non-permanent employment relationships such as temporary work, fixed term contracts, seasonal work and subcontracting or outsourcing. It is also important to make a further distinction between casuals that are employed directly by the company or those that are supplied through outsourcing and subcontracting arrangements. Typically support services such as cleaning and catering and in some cases transportation and distribution and security are subcontracted.According to Okougbo (2004) casualisation of work is characterized by demand for employment which is highly variable such as port work, farm work, farm migratory work and other jobs of unskilled intermittent nature. He further states that contract labor is a form of involuntary servitude for a period of time. Labor and service contracts are terms used by management to describe contract labor....
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