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Working Conditions

Karen Blixen Camp strongly believes the private sector has the capacity to alleviate poverty and promote gender equality through proper working conditions.

Karen Blixen Camp observes the Working Law of Kenya 2007 and respects the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) declaration on rights to work.

We have endorsed the following code of conduct:

  • Employees must be employed on a permanent contract to ensure job security, rights in case of termination and social and medical benefits
  • Employees must have the freedom to join any association and to collective bargaining
  • Employees must be provided with proper living conditions whilst working at the camp
  • Forced labor and use of child labor must be eliminated at all levels

UN Millennium Development Goal 1 addresses ways to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.

UN Millennium Development Goal 3 addresses ways to promote gender equality and increase the share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector.

UN Global Compact encourages businesses to uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labor, effectively abolish child labor and eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

Permanent contract for job security

We employ 120 staff members on a permanent contract with a 3 month probation period. This ensures not only job security, rights in case of termination, but also economic, social and medical benefits. We refrain from the use of casual labor as this renounces job security, social rights and medical benefits.

Contracts have been written by Muthoga Gaturu & Advocates in accordance with the Working Law of Kenya 2007.

Workers rights to join an association and to bargain: Karen Blixen Camp respects workers’ rights to join a union. 5 staff members have been democratically elected to speak on behalf of the staff. At least once a month, a meeting between the management and the staff is held whereby staff is able to raise questions or concerns.

Staff is also encouraged to formally negotiate salary and terms of employment at least once a year. In case of any misinterpretation between the individual staff member and the management, the company responds to the chosen labor union with attention to resolve the matter.

Medical security and benefits

All staff members sign a medical insurance policy with the National Health Insurance Fund. NHIF covers the staff member and close family in case of in-patient medical help (hospitalization) but not in case of out-patient medical help.

When needed, staff is able to seek medical help at the local health clinic. These out-patient activities (consultation fee, test and medication) are paid by the company. In case of extended medical treatment, staff can be referred to private or national hospitals in Nairobi. Two doctors at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi assists us with medical advices for staff.

Social security

All staff members are covered through the National Social Security Fund. NSSF reimburses social benefits when the member retires from a regularly paid employment or to the dependants of a deceased member. NSSF also offers funeral grants.

Gender equality and equity

Karen Blixen Camp is committed to promote gender equality and equity. Women and men are given the same employment conditions and salary is paid in accordance to qualifications. However, women are given 3 month of maternity leave, whilst men have 14 days paternity leave.

Affordable loans

Many of our staff has registered for Kentours Sacco, a cooperative that provides loans on an employee membership base. Every month we reduce a fixed amount from the individual’s salary, which is paid into the joint fund. Whenever needed staff can apply for a loan with an interest rate of 9% for payment of school fees, hospital bill or even building a house. If our staff had to obtain a loan through a bank the interest rate would easily be 15-25%.

Housing and relaxation when not working

The staff accommodation comprises two stone houses; canteen, flush toilets and hot and cold water showers. All staff rooms have a bed, beddings, linen, a mosquito net and a lockable cupboard for private belongings.

The canteen serves breakfasts, lunches and dinners. TV with DSTV provides news from the outside world and a DVD shows movies. Twice a year, a football tournament between the camps of the area is arranged. The Karen Blixen Camp Team finished 2nd in the last tournament.

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