What 12% pay rise means for Kenyan employees

What 12% pay raise means for Kenya employees

President Uhuru Kenyatta raised the minimum wage for Kenyan employees by 12 percent as he prepares to exit office in August 2022.

It is almost half of what the Centre Organisation of Trade Union (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli had proposed to shield Kenyans from coronavirus ravages.

In his speech Sunday during Labour Day, the President said that for over three years there has been no review of the minimum wages while the cost of living has increased with inflation ranging between 5 to 6 percent annually.

“In that regard, and in full appreciation of the critical contribution of workers to the economy; following the recommendation of various stakeholders; as a caring Government, we find that there is a compelling case to review the minimum wages so as to cushion our workers against further erosion of their purchasing power while also guaranteeing the competitiveness of our economy,” the President said.

The raise is basically meant for employees in the lower cadre.

It will see the minimum pay for cashiers in major cities rise to Ksh.34,302.74 from Ksh.30,627.45, receptionists (Ksh.23,413.49 from Sh20,904.90), security guard (Ksh.16,958.98 from Ksh.15,141.95) and salesman (Ksh.28,487.42 from Ksh.25,435.20).

Drivers of heavy commercial vehicles will, on the other hand, be paid Ksh.34,302.74 from Ksh.30,627.45 while those on cars and light vehicles will be on Ksh.20,517.84 pay from Ksh.18,319.50.

The average minimum wage for a cleaner, messenger, house help and gardener in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu which has since 2018 been stagnant at Ksh.13,572.90 will rise to Ksh.15,201.64.

Atwoli had initially proposed a 40 percent pay rise.

However, the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) opposed the move based on economic volatility occasioned by high inflation and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine amidst coronavirus ravages.

The last time the government revised pay rise was in the run up to the 2017 general election to 18 percent when President Uhuru Kenyatta was vying for his second term.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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