Following the rampant laying off of BOM teachers, it’s time to create more awareness and reinstate sanity to working environment of BOM teachers.
First its important to note that the Basic Education Act 2013, gives the BoMs powers to employ teachers where necessary. BoM teachers play vital role of seeing to it that there is continuity in the implementation of curriculum. The terms of such employees are also guided by the Employment Act of 2007.
This therefore means that school principal who also doubles up as BOM secretary should not take for granted the rights of BOM teachers.
Important Facts about BOM teacher employment
- The Employment Act recognizes both oral and written contract, so no excuse on matters of letters.
- All BoM teachers rights are protected by the laws of Kenya
- During employment the contract must state the time frame if it’s a year, five or permanent or till the teacher decides to leave – if this isn’t stated the advantage to the teacher
- The law says that the teacher must be paid every end of the month in cash, bank etc on working days in a manner that both will agree
- The BoM must guarantee advance payment the teacher
- The school must give you a pay voucher
- The statutory deductions are a must
- During employment one should not be discriminated for the job based on sex, gender, pregnancy or even HIV status
- The teacher should be given equal pay for equal work considering no forced attending remedial and weekend work without agreed compensation
Benefits and payment of BOM teachers
- The BoM, (The Principal) shall regulate the hours of work and guarantee weekend rest and holidays
- BOM must guarantee paid leaves including holiday pay. If not to be paid the employer must state in the letter as part of agreement.
- Must guarantee female teachers paid maternity leave and after the leave be reinstated to her position (the teacher must however issue a 7 day notice before going on leave)
- Grant the teacher a 7 day sick leave with full pay, and if it persists a half pay leave for up to 12 months
- BoM must provide housing for the teacher or pay a house allowance outside the agreed basic pay
- Supply adequate water at place of work and at accommodation facilities if provided
- Supply food at work where such agreements had been made or had been minted formally
Termination of services or Dismissal of a BOM teacher
- The BoM has the right to employ, promote, discipline or dismiss a teacher if need be and on valid grounds
- This is done in writing of a notice given 28 days before.
- The teacher must be paid for his services up to the day of termination
If the teacher has worked for more than a year, he/she will be entitled to a service pay for every year served in the school except if he/she is a contributor to NSSF.
- If services are terminated before the specified time of the contract, the teacher must be paid all the dues for the remaining months in lieu.
- The BoM shall not terminate services on ground of redundancy. If so, the labour office must be informed giving the specific considerations made to arrive to the decision. In such cases, the teacher shall be made aware by being given a one month notice or being paid a month’s salary in lieu or be given a severance pay.
- When being dismissed or being warned, the teacher must be given a fair hearing and before a fellow teacher of his/ her choice as a witness.
- A teacher cannot be on probational employment for more than six months
Conditions that may lead to summary dismissal of BOM a teacher
- Absenteesm for 14 days
- Drunkardness during working hours
- Neglect of duty
- Abusing or insulting the employer
- Disobeying command in line of duty
- If one is arrested and has been in custody for more than 14 days
- If one commits a crime against the employer or the school property e.g stealing
- Even In the above conditions the employer is NOT allowed to terminate service without notice
- When terminating the services, it is the burden of the BoM to prove their case and the teacher be given a hearing
- The case and the process at this time MUST be proved to be valid
the reason be fair in reasoning in regards to conduct, capacity and compatibility and pre set operational conditions by the board
Based on correctly laid down procedures.
Complaint by BOM teacher
A teacher can however only raise a complain if he/she has been employed for more than 13 consecutive months. The complain must be raised within 3 months of the dismissal.
If services has been terminated, the BoM MUST issue the teacher with a certificate of service / recommendation letter to enable him/her progress the career elsewhere.
Where BOM teachers can report unfair dismissal
In the nearby Labour Office or at the Industrial court or at the ombudsman’s desk in every Huduma center. In determining your case labour office will consider if the dismissal is just, fair and procedural.
Its important to provide any document (appointment letter or recent payslip) that proves that you are a bonafide employee of the alleged school.
The court or office will consider the following in awarding the decision;
- The procedure adopted to dismiss and the compensations made with evidence
- The conduct and capability of the teacher up to the date of termination.
- How much the teacher has complied with the statutory requirements of the profession.
- The extent or effort previously made by the BoM to correct the teacher and the 3 warnings issued.
The wheel of Justice may be slow but one day it will catch up with someone. BOM teachers should be treated with dignity.