Implementation of ILO Code of Practice in the Tea and Textile Sectors

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    The International Labour Organization (ILO) working with tripartite partners, has made significant strides in promoting workplace compliance and protecting labour rights in Kenya’s tea and textile sectors. These efforts are part of the All Hands in Kenya (AHK) project, which emphasizes the crucial role of efficient labour market institutions and robust legislation in fostering productive and harmonious employment relationships.

    Recognizing the importance of effective dispute resolution and grievance handling, the ILO facilitated the development of a comprehensive Code of Practice for workplace compliance in Kenya. This initiative, supported by the AHK Project of the ILO, saw collaboration among the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), the Central Organization of Trade Unions (K), and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection.

    The collaboratively developed Code of Practice offers clear definitions and terminologies for grievance handling, traces the evolution of grievance mechanisms in Kenya, and outlines the relevant legal frameworks and international labour instruments. It also incorporates best practices, providing a valuable resource for collective bargaining and strengthening social partnerships. Understanding that employment relationships inherently involve conflict, the Code of Practice aims to establish effective dispute prevention and resolution processes. These processes are essential for minimizing workplace conflicts and their negative consequences, contributing to a fair and equitable working environment.

    Within 2024, FKE has been actively training stakeholders across Kenya using the Code of Practice. The training sessions have focused on several key areas:

    1. Understanding of the Labour Laws
    2. Reviewing progress post-training
    3. Grievance handling
    4. Addressing violence and harassment in the workplace
    5. Mental health issues at work

    These training sessions have reached over 60 individuals nationwide, equipping them with the skills to handle workplace conflicts effectively. FKE also onboarded additional partners in the training such as LVCT Health, a Kenyan NGO promoting well-being through research, interventions, and advocacy in HIV, gender-based violence, and community health systems.

    The institutionalization of the Code of Practice marks a significant milestone in advancing workplace compliance in Kenya’s tea and textile sectors. This achievement is a testament to the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders committed to fostering a fair and equitable working environment. By adhering to the principles and guidance outlined in the Code, employers and workers can contribute to the realization of decent work and the promotion of harmonious industrial relations in Kenya.

    In addition to advocacy, training, and representation, FKE remains actively engaged in tripartite consultations with the government and labour organizations on both labour market issues and broader economic and social policies. Through the “All Hands in Kenya” project, FKE and ILO continue to support employers in promoting decent work – characterized by productive employment, fair income, workplace security, social protection, personal development, and social integration.

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