The Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei, issued a directive on Thursday, informing all public servants that they will not have the option to convert their accrued leave days into monetary compensation. Instead, they are required to utilize their leave days before the conclusion of the 2023 financial year.
Addressing a gathering of government ministries at the Kenya School of Government during a consultative meeting, Koskei expressed concern about the common practice among public servants of stockpiling their leave days and converting them into cash, which he believed was contributing to corruption.
Consequently, he declared that all public servants must initiate their leave plans, with a new policy in place allowing staff members to carry forward only 15 days of unused leave as of June 30, 2024.
He emphasized the importance of adhering to leave policies, citing instances of individuals staying in office for extended periods without taking leave. He drew attention to prominent figures like the President, Deputy President, and Prime Cabinet Secretary, who routinely take their leave as an example for others to follow.
Koskei revealed that there were individuals who had accumulated extraordinary amounts of unused leave, such as 250 days or 362 days, which he considered unacceptable. He underscored that public funds should not be allocated to compensate for corruption, inefficiency, or individuals who wish to retain power indefinitely.
Furthermore, Koskei stressed that the government would not tolerate those who evade their official duties. He advised public servants to allow their colleagues in various departments to step in and contribute to growth by taking on temporary roles. This approach, he explained, would help identify capable individuals who could assume leadership positions when necessary.
He urged public servants to review and submit their leave balances, requesting that everyone formulate a plan by June 30, with the understanding that they would only be allowed to carry forward 15 days of unused leave. Those who had accumulated significant leave balances exceeding one and a half years were encouraged to utilize their leave entitlement.
In accordance with the Employment Act of 2007, every worker is entitled to a minimum of 21 days of paid leave per year of employment. Employees have the flexibility to split these leave days into different periods throughout the year.