All Hands in Kenya supports tripartite to review industrial relations charter

International Labour Organization (ILO) Project All Hands in Kenya supported tripartite partners in Kenya to review the industrial relations charter, that sets out the principles for resolving labour disputes in the country.

Press release | 09 November 2023
All Hands in Kenya with Tripartite experts during the Industrial Charter Review
Kenya (ILO News) - The Industrial Relations Charter is a voluntary agreement that sets out the principles and objectives of industrial relations in Kenya. It is a Tripartite Agreement between the Government of Kenya, the most representative employers’ organization and the most representative of employees’ Organization for the regulation of Labour and Industrial Relations in Kenya and was first signed in 1962.

The Government of Kenya, the Federation of Kenya Employers and the Central Organization of Trade Unions (K) held a tripartite meeting in 1976 under the chairmanship of the then Minister for Labour and agreed to prepare a revised Industrial Charter based on the spirit of the Original Charter. The Tripartite parties thereafter signed a new revised Charter in 1984.
The Charter recognizes the right of workers to form and join trade unions, and the right of employers to organize themselves into employers' associations. It also provides for the establishment of a tripartite Labour Advisory Board, which is composed of representatives of the government, employers, and workers.

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (K), the Federation of Kenya Employers, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, held a tripartite workshop between 13 and 15 September 2023 to review the Industrial Relations Charter. The workshop was held to discuss the challenges facing the industrial relations system in Kenya, the changes, and advancements in the Kenyan work landscape and to identify ways to improve it.  The tripartite highlighted the need to review the current Industrial Relations Charter to be in tandem with the new Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and other emerging trends in labour sector. In-order to achieve this objective, discussions were focused on the inclusion of key emerging issues of labour migration, subcontracting and outsourcing and the unbalanced levels of representation between workers and employees.

The technical working group has drafted an updated charter, which will undergo further rigor and approvals before adoption. The review of the Industrial Relations Charter is an important step in improving industrial relations in Kenya. By working together, the government, employers, and workers can create a more stable and productive workplace for all Kenyans.