Teachers, just like other Civil Servants, are entitled to a number of days off duty. The days off duty are referred to as leave and may be granted on request to the employer; the Teachers Service Commission, TSC. The Commission has come up with a number of leaves for teachers in Kenya. Here is a recap of the leaves; as contained in the TSC circular ( Reference Number TSCADM/192A/VOL.IXV39) dated 2nd May, 2018;
‘In compliance with the provisions of the Employment Act 2007, teachers in the public service are entitled to various types of leaves. Part X of the Code of Regulations for Teachers (CORT) sets out in detail the specific types of leaves that are applicable in the teaching service and the procedure to be followed in obtaining such leaves.
Leave Types and Guidelines used in approving applications for leave from teachers
a) Annual Leave (Regulation 109)
All teachers are entitled to 30 days annual leave in one calendar year which should only be taken during the school holidays. Annual leave for teachers should not be accumulated to be carried forward to the subsequent year. The leave must be applied for in the prescribed form set out under Schedule 27 of the CORT and formally approved by the Sub County Director. You are expected to enforce this provision and keep a formal record of eave application and approval. A copy of such approval should be sent to the headquarters for record.
b) Special Leave (Regulation 132)
The Commission clarified vide Circular No. 1 of 2017 that Special Leave may only be taken during school holidays. This was intended to ensure that instructional leadership and curriculum implementation which is the core mandate of the teaching service is not compromised. This position will remain in place except where the Commission on its own discretion or in collaboration with its partners has nominated a teacher to attend a seminar, training or conference when schools are in session.
c) Maternity Leave (Regulation 116)
As provided under the CORT, a female teacher is eligible for 90 calendar days’ maternity leave per annum with full pay. Such a teacher shall not forfeit her annual leave on account of having taken her maternity leave.
Accordingly, while computing maternity leave, any day falling within the period when a teacher is on annual leave duly applied for and approved, should be excluded so that the two leaves do not run concurrently. In the event a teacher has not applied for annual leave, the computation for maternity leave of the ninety (90) calendar days shall run continuously.
d) Compassionate Leave (Regulation 131)
As the name suggests, this leave is granted on compassionate grounds which may include cases of bereavement, sickness of a family member or any other ground, which in the view of the teacher’s immediate supervisor, is so compelling to qualify a teacher to be absent from duty. Compassionate leave is granted at the discretion of the Sub- County Directors and Heads of Institution. This provision of the CORT ensures that official permission is granted expeditiously to deserving cases in the event of unplanned incidences.
Compassionate leave should not be granted for leisurely undertakings or to a teacher to attend seminars, workshops or conferences.
e) Sick Leave (Regulation 111)
As provided under Regulation 111 (2) of the CORT Application for sick leave should be forwarded to the Commission as fast as t is practically possible but strictly not later than 48 hours for out-patient cases and seven (7) days for in-patient cases. The
Commission will not grant belated sick leave as such practice does not conform to the provisions of the CORT.
In computing the period of sick leave under regulation 113, please note that the period of leave should run cumulatively within one Calendar year.
f) Clearance to travel out of the Country
Any teacher wishing to spend leave outside the Country must obtain clearance from the TSC headquarters as required under regulation 137 of the CORT. Requests for
such clearance must be accompanied by a copy of approved leave for which traveling is required.
In order to attain the provision of quality basic education, teachers who wish to attend private functions, workshops or seminars out of the Country to do so during school holidays so that the same is not taken at the expense of learners.