Jaramogi University to refund Housing Levy deductions made in January

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology.

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) is set to refund housing levy deductions made in January 2024 to all its staff.

In an internal memo, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor stated that the deductions would be refunded early this month.

“The Court of Appeal on January 26, 2024 dismissed a stay application where the Government sought to continue collecting the Housing Levy until its appeal is determined. This action in effect halted the levy deduction from the month of January, 2024. The ruling came at a time when the University had already processed the payroll and effected the deductions,” the University notified its staff.

Earlier, the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) had asked its members to halt the housing levy deductions in light of the Court decision.

The announcement comes after the Court of Appeal declined to lift the High Court’s ruling that declared the levy unconstitutional.

In a ruling on February 26, the Court of Appeal concluded that the Housing Levy was introduced without a proper legal framework.

In November 2023, the High Court ruled that the Finance Act 2023 had violated Article 10, 2(a) of the Constitution.

Justice David Majanja found that the introduction of the housing levy amendment to section 84 lacked a comprehensive legal framework in violation of Article 10 of the Constitution, that levy against persons in formal employment without justification is discriminatory and irrational.

The Housing Levy, an integral part of the Finance Act, 2023 was deducted from employees’ paychecks as of July 2023.

Employers were to remit 1.5 percent contribution as employees contributed a similar amount.

The levy was to facilitate the construction of affordable homes for low-earning Kenyans.

By Fredrick Odiero

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