Kenyans back to 9-5 work schedules after curfew revision


Kenyans back to 9-5 work schedules after curfew revision

In Summary

  • The new variation which shifted the curfew from between 7:00pm and 05:00am to 9:00pm and 04:00 am will allow for the regular 9-5 schedules to resume, replenishing lost working hours in recent months.
  • General standard operating procedures will see firms implement measures to allow the observance of social distancing, temperature checks at entry points and the maintenance of a daily attendance register of all persons visiting premises.
  • However, not all employees will make a return to the office as employers seek to maintain low capacities of staff inside premises prompting many to stay on, working from home.

Majority of Kenyans will be returning to their full work schedules from Monday following adjustments to the dusk to dawn curfew by the government.

The new variation which shifted the curfew from between 7pm and 5am to 9pm and 4am will allow for the regular 9-5 schedules to resume, replenishing lost working hours in recent months.

Even so, the return of the regular shifts is set to be adjusted to fit to the new normal as firms put up mitigation strategies to curb the spread of the virus.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has for instance developed protocols on the reopening of the economy with the new guidelines being set for consolidation into a white paper by government.

The development of the protocols followed a virtual meeting between the sector and government through the office of the National Development Implementation of Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICC) chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

General standard operating procedures will see firms implement measures to allow the observance of social distancing, temperature checks at entry points, the maintenance of a daily attendance register of all persons visiting premises to support contact tracing and the hosting of outdoor team meetings.

Further, firms have been advised to develop isolation protocols for affected staff and develop targeted communications on virus mitigation measures.

Specific guidelines covering enterprises in wholesale and retail require branch guests to be accommodated strictly within designated areas while preference of cashless payment modes is expected to hold.

Moreover, businesses have been encouraged to stagger shifts and rotate staff members to reduce the number of people at premises at any given time.

Work stations are expected to be clearly designated with social distancing of atleast six-feet between co-workers.

Speaking on Saturday in a televised address to the Nation, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the adjustment of curfew times will allow Kenyans to leverage on a full day’s work to improve daily earnings as he described the review of Covid-19 restriction measures as a dilemma between two rights.

“To afford Kenyans the opportunity to enjoy a full-day’s work, the nationwide dusk to dawn curfew will be extended for a further 30 days. However, the commencement time for the same is varied to between 09:00pm and 04:00am.

However, not all employees will make a return to the office as employers seek to maintain low capacities of staff inside premises prompting many to stay on, working from home.

“Firms will have to cut down on the number of on-location staff to maintain social distance. An office with 20 people prior to the pandemic may only accommodated 10 people today,” said Tifa Research Managing Director Gerry Kweya.

Circle Savings Chief Executive Officer Patrick Awori meanwhile reckons firms must seek to automate and embrace remote working in adjustments to the new normal.

“Business leaders and managers should continue to look at this as an investment rather than an inconvenience. Usually, doing something new presents challenges but most of the measures were seeing will move as in a forward direction,” he said.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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