CEOs React to Bill Barring Them From Calling Employees After Work Hrs

  • Pedestrians assisted by traffic police at a zebra crossing in Nairobi, on Monday, October 21, 2019
    Pedestrians assisted by traffic police at a zebra crossing in Nairobi, on Monday, October 21, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • The Employment Amendment Bill fronted by Nandi Senator Samson Cherarkey prohibiting bosses from contacting their employees after work hours sparked mixed reactions from chief executives, who believed that if passed into law, would completely change work dynamics.

    Speaking to kenyans.co.ke, Grace Nguti, the CEO of Grace Tavern, applauded the bill stating that it was the right step towards ensuring that both employees and employers get ample time to rest and be more productive during work hours. 

    She explained that the bill would push employers to develop better strategies and reduce cases of employees who underpay their workers who have to work under difficult conditions and timelines.

    File Photo of person using mobile phone
    File Photo of person using mobile phone
    BBC News

    “CEOs will have to set targets for the day and make sure the employees are productive within those hours unless they are willing to compensate them for the overtime.

    “My employees don't want to be forced to work. In the long run, they will be wasting company resources because they will not be as productive,” Nguti stated.

    On the matter of unconventional jobs that require labour even at night, Velma Oduori, a manager at Sauti Radio added that it was paramount for other CEOs to allocate employees shifts or pay the workers  an overtime allowance.

    “I would rather have two shifts of people working and get the results my company requires. We should remember that we are not a 24-hour economy,” Oduori stated. 

    Calling for the amendment of the bill, Lenny Wachira, the Manager of Lapid Leaders Africa noted that the work dynamics were changing and most organisations that had employees who worked from home focused on quantifying the quality of work done.

    “The bill will mean that organisations will go back to the 8am to 5pm culture which is already being phased out. 

    “There is a need to protect employees from rogue bosses but when it is generalised, every communication will be deemed inappropriate,” Wachira explained.

    Oduori further stated that when passed into law, the bill would lead to strained relationships between employers and their workers.

    “If a boss is fined Ksh500,000 or goes to jail for calling an employee after work hours, I don't believe that that employer would still have that employee working for them. If they do stay in the organisation, the working relationship will be very difficult,” Oduori explained.

    Owing to the unpredictable nature of some jobs, Wachira stated that it was only right to allow employers to be called back to work in cases of emergency where specific skills of the employee were required.

    “Even those normal work dynamics will be deemed inappropriate. There should be a way of separating what is and what is not allowed in the workplace," Wachira noted.

    An image of a phone user inserting a pin on their mobile.
    An image of a phone user inserting a pin on their mobile phone.
    File