Incorporating Kenya housing levy into your payroll

Incorporating Kenya housing levy into your payroll

We all know that taxation is an essential component of every business. Nonetheless, regardless of the size of your organisation and or investment in computing, managing taxes can be a daunting task. This is especially true when it comes to payroll taxes, which are intricate and carry serious legal implications.


Beginning 1st July 2023, the government of Kenya is mandated to collect Housing Levy, which must be remitted by the employer not later than nine working days after the end of each month. The housing levy is payable by the employee and employer at a rate of 1.5% of the employee’s gross monthly salary by the employee, and 1.5% of the employee’s monthly gross salary by the employer, as outlined in the Finance Act 2023.


Being a newly introduced tax with strict guidelines, there is the immediate need to align existing payroll systems with this new reality. Thanks to advancement in technology and the built-in foresight of Baraza Payroll System powered by DewCIS Solutions Ltd which has evolved to automate and streamline the process of incorporating newly introduced taxes including the Housing Levy deduction, remittance and reporting to ensure compliance with various tax regulations.


Considering that organisations have hundreds and thousands of records, an introduction of a new tax into the ecosystem would cause serious disruption, a riddle the solution to which would take several sleepless nights to solve. With Baraza Payroll, by simply defining a new Tax Category for Housing Levy and assigning the Rates for both employee and the employer contributions, the system will automatically calculate the correct tax amounts to be deducted from the payslip in addition to the other already existing tax obligations ensuring accuracy and compliance.


Needless to say that Baraza Payroll architecture was built with the reality that tax laws and rates are subject to change. Keeping track of these changes manually can be time-consuming and error-prone. Baraza Payroll system allows for updates to tax tables as an in-built service, ensuring businesses always use the latest rates for their calculations and a time-stamp of the previous tax regimes for reporting purposes.


We all know that year-end tax reporting can be stressful for both the employees and the employers alike. What with the strict timeframe requirements for statutory Forms including P9 and P10, and now faced with newly introduced Housing Levy. Baraza Payroll simplifies this process by automatically generating these requisite Forms, which can then be printed or electronically filed with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).


Proper record keeping is vital not only for auditing purposes but most important, for potential reviews by KRA and in litigation where needed. Baraza Payroll assists organisations maintain detailed records of all transactions, ensuring easy retrieval and verification of any tax-related information.


Baraza Payroll system comes with built-in integration points to allow for seamless integration with accounting systems. This feature enables payroll tax-related transactions to be automatically reflected in your core accounting system, ensuring consistency and reducing the chances of errors due to manual data entry.


Another key feature of Baraza Payroll system is compliance alerts. These critical scheduled notifications are very handy because they warn of impending tax-related deadlines such as the nine-working days for remitting the Housing Levy deductions by the employer so as to remain compliant with the law.


Navigating the intricacies of taxation is a challenging aspect of running an organisation. Baraza Payroll software acts as a trusted ally; assisting organisations automate, simplify, and ensure accuracy in all tax-related obligations. Investing in Baraza Payroll system not only eases the taxation process but also secures compliance, giving both staff and employers a peace of mind and freeing up their time to focus on growth and other critical aspects of their operations.

Revolutionizing Performance Management with Baraza HCM

Revolutionizing Performance Management with Baraza HCM

We all know how it goes.. its the end of the year and the company needs to evaluate staff for possible salary increase or reviews for performance improvement plans. Even though, seasoned human resource experts opine that, to achieve effective performance appraisal, organisational goals ought to be clearly defined and understood by the entire workforce. Staff members can then define personal goals that align to the organisation’s end result. This creates a sense of involvement in the workplace, where expectations from staff are clear and there is enough room for personal development.

To build a cohesive workplace where the team members understand the strengths and weaknesses of each member and work towards a common organisation-wide goal, the stream of feedback needs to be uninterrupted. During this time, reporting managers are stressed trying to walk the tight rope, and not to upset the applecart. At the same time, they must differentiate rewards based on individual performance and risk dissatisfying some members of their team, while faced with a limited budget within which everyone’s expectations are to be accommodated.

Given this backdrop, is this a desirable exercise, if at all? Nonetheless, we need to acknowledge meritocracy, promote competition and reward excellence. There must be a better way of reviewing performance and rewarding merit based on accountability. For all its worth, performance appraisal ought not be a one-time annual season of intensive exercise wrongly conceived for ‘assessment interview’ where staff work endlessly trying to dress up the bride while operations almost grind to a halt.

Thankfully, Baraza HCM, Performance Management is one such tool that can facilitate personalisation and flow of activities right from defining key performance indicators (KPIs), competencies, and setting targets against the KPIs for the assessment of performance. In addition, it is very easy to report performance on an ongoing basis based on the frequency defined for individual staff KPIs, such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually. The reporting manager can give feedback with the same frequency in a sequentially rolling basis for each individual staff.

Unlike the olden days of annual performance appraisal, the new agile method allows for personalised periodic sprints. Spot awards can be given to staff for outstanding performance at any periodicity. Baraza HCM, Performance Management can rank performances and send automated triggers to staff sharing scorecards periodically. With this agility, appraisals do not have to happen at the same time for the organisation as a whole, which often builds an environment of heightened toxicity, gossip, and speculations. Rather, appraisals can happen on an ongoing basis anchored on the periodicity of the KPIs. Besides, all staff must not be appraised at the same time and season across the organisation.

With this level of automation, Human Resources team members have more time to facilitate developmental conversations between the employees and the management on topical issues including career plans, potential and future growth opportunities, a critical investment for an organisation to strengthen its ability to face uncertainties and continually transform.

The key to the success of this agile appraisal tool lies in the ability to define periods, KPIs, set targets, review when needed and drive personalised staff appraisals regularly.”

Baraza HCM Features Highlight

Baraza HCM Features Highlight

Baraza HCM incorporates a suitable Recruitment Module, which allows the HR department to coordinate the entire recruitment process into a simplified and verifiable workflow. The recruitment workflow will undertake requisite procedures from gathering candidate information to candidate shortlisting, interview sessions, and finally, the candidate selection. To improve efficiency, the recruitment management module offers an applicant tracking system that can receive or reject applicants automatically based on some predefined criteria. This feature is critical when dealing with vast volumes of applicants which should be processed within a limited timeframe from which to select the most suitable talent.

Baraza HCM has an effective Employee Management Module which supports organisations and HR professionals to control and supervise the employee profiles and their personal information including employee background information, contact details, previous experience details, qualification details, skills and job-related information such as salary details, tax, and banking information, employee position, performance evaluation, disciplinary details, insurance, and loan plans and much more. Furthermore, the Baraza HCM readily provides an employee self-service portal to strengthen the accountability of employees. The employee self-service portal is beneficial to staff who can receive messages and updates through simple and timely notifications. The employee self-service portal offers a window for staff to initiate certain processes including Leave application, Advance requests and generation and printing of personal reports including P9 forms.

Baraza HCM Payroll Module runs a crucial yet repetitive monthly process that would otherwise be a headache to the HR department. Save for efficiently processing pay, compute and retain relevant taxes and deductions, the Payroll Module is an engine for managing compensations and benefits including salary allowances and overtime work rates. Fully integrated within Baraza HCM, the Payroll Module minimises manual data entry and reduces human error because the information is all collected from a single source.

Baraza HCM Attendance Management Module supports HR in managing the daily attendance monitoring activities of its entire staff. The platform supports various modes of attendance including manual identification, barcode scanner, Kiosk mode, and GPS presence. Critical for on-sight jobs and support for shift management, the attendance module allows managers to regularly generate and examine attendance reports through attendance logs.

Baraza HCM Leave Management module is important for both colleagues and the HR department to have an insight into who is present and who is absent and the reason behind the absenteeism. All types of time off, such as vacations, sick off, maternity, casual, and other types of paid and unpaid time off, are tracked by the module. Furthermore, the Baraza HCM Leave Management Module supports various leave types, policies and holidays. Both staff and management can view the leave balances and can plan their time off accordingly. The module allows employees to apply for leave from anywhere using a dedicated mobile app or desktop web app. Likewise, relevant immediate and responsible personnel are able to approve or reject leave applications from anywhere and at any time. The complete leave analysis of the organisation is available from a single dashboard including tracking of individual leave history and publishing of organisation-wide leave schedules.

Baraza HCM Performance Management Module allows HR to objectively analyse employees and by extension the organisational performance. This unbiased analysis of employee performance supported by actual data empowers the HR to take suitable decisions for promotions, training or other actions relevant to the advancement of the organisation. The appraisal and assessment process is standard and transparent for both the staff and management which allows for fair scores across the entire organisation. The various reports generated support HR to understand the overall productivity ratio of individual employees.

Baraza HCM Dashboard & Reporting Module displays a deep insight into the most critical HR parameters of the organisation at a glance. The Dashboard publishes the most relevant and informative data aspects of HR for the convenience of users, employees and management. Services including notices, reminders and announcements are effectively communicated to all staff via the Dashboard. The Reporting Module includes the generation of any sort of information data from the system concerning the HR aspects of the organisation including statutory, regulatory, contractual and training reports required not only for compliance purposes but more important for decision-making and growth.

Baraza HCM Leave Management Feature

Baraza HCM Leave Management Feature

Almost everyone can relate to the challenge of going to work when someone is not willing, acting indifferent and showing an inattentive disposition to their colleagues and the tasks at hand. Working five and in some cases six days a week, eight hours a day, can have a serious toll on your body and at worse lead to burnout. Out of frustrations from the reality of work, the fear of being subjected to work all the days of his life without rest drove Pinocchio to strike dead, his mentor “The Talking Cricket” with a hammer.

Knowing the importance of rest and the social nature of human beings, work culture has been designed to allow employees to take leave from work in order to productively continue giving their best at work. By law, workers are entitled to various forms of leave. In Kenya for instance, the labour laws allow employees at least 21 paid Annual leave days. We are all susceptible to fatigue from many days of exhausting work, and it’s only befitting that we occasionally take a few days off to rest and rejuvenate.

We all know that time never waits for anyone. It is therefore up to us to manage our social life intertwined with our work lives. It is not unique to be with colleagues who keep fidgeting and twisting, lacking concentration due to continuous days of work. Taking time off from work to attend to private or recreational pastimes has shown that affected staff comes back from leave re-energized and inspired to continue delivering positively at work.

Another type of leave that is more of a necessity is sick leave. There are times when the body gets sick and staff would need to visit the hospital for treatment. Parents and caregivers appreciate sick leave very much, particularly for the young ones who are often susceptible to common cold and other diseases. In Kenya, we also enjoy maternity leave. New mothers are entitled to 3 months paid leave following birth, so as to give undivided attention to the newborn. Interestingly, male colleagues are also entitled to 2-weeks of paternity leave to enjoy the gift of being a dad!

Research has shown that having compassion as a value makes a large difference in establishing a healthy organisational culture. Compassionate Leave is given to staff who have gone through trauma such as the loss of a loved one and goes a long way to reassure colleagues of a workplace full of support and human care. Of course, we love our privacy and at certain times, we are not able to communicate our reasons to request leave. In their wisdom, psychologists entrenched leave of absence in our workplaces for our benefit. Imagine having to explain to your boss that you need to attend to your personal side hustle, a reality of our times, which though not recognised in our normal workplaces requires your direct involvement!

Our last leave to consider is compulsory leave, which is an administrative time-off given to staff to allow room for objective investigations into one’s professional conduct.

Appreciating the benefit of leave and offs, whether paid or unpaid, is very important to both staff and employers so as to account for time in employment. The Baraza Leave Management System is a comprehensive Human Capital tool, accessible online and mobile, designed for organisations to oversee Leaves and Time-offs in a structured form to support organizational work time

How To Meet The Requirements of Tomorrow’s Employers

How To Meet The Requirements of Tomorrow’s Employers

Job requirements are skills, attributes and experiences that employers expect to have among their hired candidates. Employers believe that these qualifications are essential to achieve satisfactory job performance. A prospective candidate should therefore focus on developing the skills that will enhance their employability.

Most job listings usually list the requirements a candidate needs to have to successfully secure a job. This may include specific skills, personal qualities, professional and educational certificates, work experience and other qualifications. These requirements serve to set expectations for employers and potential employees to ensure qualified individuals apply for positions.

It is important that candidates take the time to demonstrate to the hiring manager that their qualifications meet the requirements of the position. A candidate should carefully review the provided job requirements while applying for a job and reference their corresponding qualifications in their cover letter and resume. Employers can sometimes select candidates who have performed well in some key areas but who have not performed well in others.

Some of the things that employers look for are;

1. Skill

Employers seek both hard and soft skills in candidates. Hard skills are generally teachable and measurable abilities, such as the ability to use specific software programs, analyze data, code, implement social media campaigns, draw, etc. Soft skills usually refer to traits that are hard to quantify, such as critical thinking, active listening, creative problem-solving, and communicating effectively. Requirements that employers give usually involve both hard and soft skills. It is crucial for the candidate to develop both these skills.

2. Experience

Experience requirements typically refer to time in a specific field or role related to the position. The employer might also include working with a specific population or in a specific industry or employment sector.

3. Educational requirements

Some positions posted by the employer will require applicants to have a certain level of education. For example, the job may require a high school diploma, a college degree, or a graduate degree. In some cases, related work experience, known as equivalent experience, might be substituted for some or all of the educational requirements.

In conclusion, a candidate should not make assumptions that the skills they put in are the same as the ones recruiters emphasize on. Candidates should also gather a lot of information about the employer and use it to their advantage. Recruiters value technical skills but soft skills set successful graduates apart. This applies across sectors and is just as important in science and technology roles. While a candidate is trying to meet the requirements of today’s employer, they should also be open to failure and take it as a learning opportunity.