Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda tabled a proposal to have interns attached to government institutions offered monthly stipends and insurance coverage for personal accidents.
If passed into law, interns will enjoy sick leaves and subsistence allowances as proposed by the Public Service Internship Bill.
The allowances cater to basic needs such as food, airtime, and fare. Government institutions would also be required to issue them with other additional benefits offered.
Lesuuda explained that interns contributed to the manpower of the organisations by offering their professional skills as apprentices and therefore required to be compensated adequately.
“The personal accident insurance cover shall be valid for the duration of the internship period,” the Bill read in part.
In addition, Lesuuda stated that interns in the public sector should be eligible for sick, maternity, and paternity leaves during their attachment period.
"Every intern engaged in the public service shall be entitled to sick leave as provided for in the prevailing regulations, maternity or paternity leave, and subsistence allowance as determined by the Cabinet Secretary from time to time,” Lesuuda stated in the bill.
Moreover, she underlined that it was important for the government to improve the working conditions of interns in public offices at national and county levels.
"Every public service institution shall plan and budget for internship programs and pay the prescribed stipends to interns in accordance with this Act," the Bill stated.
The proposal, however, stated that internships could be terminated on the grounds of a 24-hour absence without permission or forms of misconduct by the interns.
“Internships will be terminated for gross or disorderly behavior, unsatisfactory performance, failure to obey any lawful instructions or the commission of a criminal offense,” the Bill explained.
Additionally, it allowed interns to terminate their engagements with the referenced institution by issuing their bosses a 30-day written notice.
The MP urged the government to take the necessary steps to ensure that young people have access to relevant education, training, and employment.
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