• Home
  • EXTENDING SOCIAL PROTECTION TO INFORMAL AND RURAL WORKERS IN KENYA

EXTENDING SOCIAL PROTECTION TO INFORMAL AND RURAL WORKERS IN KENYA

In a significant move towards fostering inclusivity and a healthier society, Kenya’s Ministry of Labour and Social Protection unveiled the “Strategy for the Extension of Social Protection Coverage to Workers in the Informal and Rural Economy” which aims to provide a safety net for the 8 out of 10 Kenyans who operate in the informal sector. This strategy seeks to address their unique challenges and ensure access to essential social protections such as safety, income security, and healthcare. The overarching vision behind this initiative is to create an inclusive and healthy society where all Kenyan citizens, particularly those in the informal and rural economy, can both benefit from and contribute to social and economic development.

The primary objective of this strategy is to guarantee comprehensive protection for all workers in Kenya, safeguarding them against life-cycle risks, unforeseen contingencies, and covariate shocks. This means that workers in the informal and rural economy should have a safety net that covers them in times of sickness, disability, maternity, old age, employment injuries, and unemployment, among other circumstances. To achieve this, the plan builds upon existing policies, programs, and reform paths, while also introducing new measures for design and implementation.

Speaking during the unveiling ceremony of the strategy, the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection Florence Bore emphasized that prioritizing the informal sector workers is a key component of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda. The focus is on implementing a set of crucial interventions to both extend coverage and ensure the adequacy of social protection programs for workers. These include:

  1. Expanding Social Health Protection for workers in the informal and rural economy.
  2. Cushioning income losses resulting from pregnancy and childbirth.
  3. Ensuring basic income security for workers with children.
  4. Expanding income protection for workers in old age, in cases of invalidity, and for survivors.
  5. Improving income protection for workers with disabilities.
  6. Enhancing safety and health at workplaces.
  7. Providing opportunities for improving livelihoods and basic income security for workers during covariate shocks.

The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Hon. Florence Bore, and Principal Secretary, Social Protection and Senior Citizens Affairs  Joseph Montari making their remarks.

Representing MSEA CEO, Director Corporate Services, Mr. Simon Nyamolo, spoke on the Authority’s mandate and the commitment to guide informal enterprises toward formalization. “One strategy that has been particularly effective is the work of our Office of the Registrar, which officially registers MSEs organized in associations for aggregation purposes. The emphasis is on encouraging MSEs to register as associations, with a focus on the benefits of formalization, including access to vital social protection mechanisms provided by the government,” said Director Nyamolo.

MSEA’S Director of Corporate Services Simon Nyamolo delivering a key note speech on behalf of MSEA DG during the ceremony

Kenya’s Strategy for the Extension of Social Protection Coverage to Workers in the Informal and Rural Economy developed with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO) signifies a pioneering step toward creating a more inclusive society. By systematically addressing barriers and implementing a diverse range of interventions, the government aims to provide a robust safety net for those who have historically lacked social protection, ushering in a new era of empowerment and resilience for the nation’s workforce.

The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Hon. Florence Bore, and Principal Secretary, Social Protection and Senior Citizens Affairs Joseph Montari, Caroline Njuki, Chief Technical Advisor for the ILO in Kenya, MSEA’S Director of Corporate Services Simon Nyamolo and other delegates during the ceremony.

Skip to content