What is an employer organisation?
According to the Labour Relations Act, 2007, an employer organisation is any number of employers associated together for the purpose, whether by itself or with other purposes, of regulating relations between employers and their employees or the trade unions representing those employees.
What is the role of an employer organisation?
An employer association operates for the benefit of companies who are members of the association. In Kenya an employers’ organisation is an advocacy group that, through lobbying, tries to influence government policy. They lobby governments on behalf of the member companies. They provide advisory services to members. They lobby government and employers to improve employees’ wages, conditions and benefits
They negotiate collective bargaining agreements between members and trade unions. Most typically, they set out the terms and conditions such as pay, benefits and working time, etcetera, to be included in the employment contracts of workers in the bargaining unit.
Also, most employers’ organisations assist in the migration of informal enterprises into the formal sector, though this is not always seen as a high priority. The employers’ organisations use their influence to remove regulatory obstacles to small and medium-size enterprises, which seem most pronounced and most entrenched as bases for bribery and similar corruption in African countries.
How and where can one find them?
The law allows for registration of both the trade union and employer organisation to the registrar (sections 12, 13 and 14 of Labour Relations Act, 2007). By registration they include their physical location. Hence through the registrar of unions one is able to locate both the trade union and the employer organisation.
How is an employers’ organisation formed and registered?
The process of registering an employers’ organisation takes six months and is provided for in sections 12, 13 and 14 of Labour Relations Act, 2007, Laws of Kenya.
Just like in the trade union, registration of an organisation of employers begins when any two persons apply for a certificate to promote the establishment of an employer organisation wherein the name of the proposed organisation and any prescribed information are specified.
A certificate shall specify that the promoter may undertake lawful activities towards establishment an employers’ organisation.
Application for registration of the organisation shall be made to the registrar within six months of the date of the certificate issue.
An employers’ organisation certificate of registration may be withdrawn if the registrar has a reason to believe that the certificate was obtained by fraud, misrepresentation, and mistake or that any person has undertaken unlawful activities in contravention of the Labour Relations Act, 2007.
After obtaining a certificate from the registrar, the organisation may apply for registration within six months if they have complied with the following:
- Complied with the Labour Relations Act, 2007
- The employers’ organisation has adopted a constitution that complies with the requirements of the Labour Relation Act, 2007 and requirements set out in the first schedule
- The organisation has an office and postal addresses within Kenya
- No other employers’ organisation is already registered that is sufficiently representative of the whole or substantial proportion of the interests in respect of which the applicants seek registration
- Only members in the sector specified in the organisation constitution qualify for membership of the employers’ organisation
- The name of the employer organisation is not the same as that of an existing organisation
- The decision to register the employer organisation was made at a meeting attended by at least fifty members of that organisation
- The employers’ organisation is independent of direct or indirect control of any employer or employers association.
- The employers’ organisation’s sole purpose is to pursue activities of an employers’ organisation.
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