Paid Internships – MP Lesuuda Drafts Bill Requiring Employers to Pay Interns

May 8, 2019

Kenyan youths seeking gainful employment could get a reprieve if a bill seeking a monthly allowance for interns is successful.

The Bill was submitted to Parliament on Tuesday. It is the brainchild of Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda who said it reflects article 55 of the Constitution.

Article 55 stipulates that the State shall take measures including affirmative action, programmes that will ensure that the youth have access to inter-alia relevant education, training and employment.

The principal object of the Bill, Lesuuda said, is to address some of the core challenges affecting Kenyans, more so the youths who are seeking gainful employment opportunities.

The Bill states that employers should set aside funds to be paid to interns. Naisula, however, did not mention any figures.

In March, Kimilili MP Didimus Barasa sponsored a similar Bill seeking to make it mandatory for all private and public institutions that have over 50 employees to absorb interns.

Barasa seeks to amend section 76 of the Employment Act (2007) and wants employers to pay minimum wage to all the interns they take in.

“An employer who employs more than fifty employees shall offer an internship to applicants who have attained a diploma, undergraduate or post-graduate qualifications.

“The employer must ensure the number of applicants offered internship is equivalent to 5 percent of the total employers’ workforce,” reads part of the bill.

The employer must also maintain the interns throughout the year.

“This Bill, if passed into law, will see many young job-seekers easily clinch employment opportunities since they will have met the requirement of having work experience,” explained Barasa.

The bill requires a two-thirds majority to pass through the house.

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