Reprieve for job seekers as mandatory requirements for clearance certificates is lifted
Nov 17th, 2021

Reprieve for job seekers as mandatory requirements for clearance certificates is lifted

Ever stumbled across a job title, got really excited, and then felt the enthusiasm and energy drain out as you read through the requirements?  Well, not anymore!

Good news for job applicants after the National Assembly unanimously passed a bill against conditions that all job seekers must provide clearance certificates when seeking employment.

Unemployment is a teething problem in this country. The mandatory provision of clearance certificates by job seekers was only fueling this existing situation. This is because these clearance certificates are costly, tedious and time-consuming to obtain.

These systems in place have been making it hard for job applicants; especially youth, to apply for these opportunities. Most job applications demanded clearance certificates from applicants. They required clearance from:

  • Good conduct from the DCI
  • Ethics and Corruption Commission (EACC)
  • Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)
  • Higher Loans Board (HELB)
  • Credit Reference Bureau (CRB)

In a statement released on Wednesday, November 10, Nominated MP Gideon Keter, who sponsored the bill, stated that only individuals that are offered jobs will be required to carry out background checks on themselves.

"Previously as you may recall, before the introduction of this amendment, job seekers were tasked with the responsibility of running background checks on themselves so as to secure a mere job interview. However, now a cure has come through this amendment whereby an employer shall no longer perceive job seekers as a wrongdoer before they apply for a job. The solution to all these bottlenecks is that an employer will no longer ask job seekers for such documents until or unless an offer of employment is guaranteed," part of the statement read.

He further went on to state that as a government we should borrow some best practices from other developed nations to lift this financial burden from graduates. He cited the United Kingdom and some states in the United States as examples Kenya should borrow a leaf from.

“In conclusion, first give the graduates jobs then ask for clearance documents. Young people should not be punished for looking for a job. Let them earn money first to afford paying for these documentations. Nobody should be denied a job because someone suspects them of being a criminal. As a government let us not make job seeking an unbearable task by adding an extra financial burden on individuals who are already penniless,” read the last part of the statement.

This amendment could not have come at a better time. It will aid the people who were laid off work during the pandemic as they try to navigate back into the job market. It will also favor fresh graduates seeking employment. It is going to be a great contributor in the recovery of the economy post-pandemic. These are the kind of reforms we love to see and applaud.

Gideon Keter will go down in history and be remembered for pushing this very significant Amendment.


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