An Act of Parliament to amend the Public Holidays Act to provide for the extension of public holidays.


Clause 2

Insertion of new section 3A

The Public Holidays Act is amended by inserting the following new section immediately after section 3:

3A. Where in any year, a public holiday under Part 1 of the Schedule:

a. falls on a Tuesday, then the preceding day, not being a public holiday, shall also be a public holiday; or
b. falls on a Thursday, the succeeding day, not being a public holiday, shall also be a public holiday.

This proposal seeks to extend “long weekends” by declaring the preceding Monday and subsequent Friday of a public holiday as public holidays.

This proposal, should the Bill pass into law, would have the following benefits:

a. Employees would have an extended period for relaxation and leisure activities. This would promote work-life balance and boosts employees’ morale;
b. The extended holiday would help reduce stress and burnout among employees. Employees would be able to recharge themselves and return to work feeling invigorated and more productive. This in turn ultimately benefits employers as the employees’ overall performance is improved;
c. Extended weekends would also lead to increased consumer spending, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors, as Kenyans would have more time on their hands to partake in leisure activities.

On the other hand, this proposal would have the following disadvantages:

a. Kenyans would be unable to access government services as government offices would be closed during this period;
b. There would be increased costs on the employer. Declaring additional public holidays would lead to employers paying their employees whereas the employees would not be reporting to work. Should the employee’s report to work, it would count as overtime for work during the holiday period.
c. A feeling of complacency might spread amongst workers, given that Kenyans already have numerous public holidays as it is.