Pay househelps Sh10k or go to jail – new rules

July 6, 2015 3:13 pm
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A legal notice issued by Omamo awards the domestic workers in major towns like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu a 12 percent salary increment/FILE
A legal notice issued by Omamo awards the domestic workers in major towns like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu a 12 percent salary increment/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – The new minimum wage for the domestic workers will now be Sh10,954 per month up from Sh9,781, according to newly gazetted regulations by Acting Labour Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.

A legal notice issued by Omamo awards the domestic workers in major towns like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu a 12 percent salary increment.

“This order may be cited as Regulations of Wages(General) (Amendment) Order 2015 and shall be deemed to have come into operations on the 1st of May 2015,” a section of the notice read.

Those who fall under this category include cleaners, sweepers, gardener, children ayah, house servant, day watchmen and messengers.

However domestic workers in areas away from urban centres will earn a minimum wage of Sh5,844 – almost half of those in major towns.

Drivers of cars and light vans, printing machine operators, bakery machine operators, shop assistants, table hand bakery or confectionery and copy typists will now earn a minimum salary of Sh14,785 per month.

Employers will be required to pay a minimum salary of Sh11,831 per month to miners, stone cutters, turn boys, waiters and cooks while cashiers and drivers of heavy commercial vehicles should not earn less than Sh24,719 per month.

Employers are also required to grant their workers a mandatory weekly 48 hour break which is equivalent to two days as well as make contributions to the National Social Security Fund and the National Health Insurance Fund.

Those who fail to grant their workers their off days are liable to a punitive option of paying them Sh527 per day or an additional Sh4,216 a month.

At the same time a failure to honour the new rules will attract a jail term of three months or a fine of Sh50,000 or both.

During this year’s International Labour Day celebrations May 1, President Uhuru Kenyatta raised the minimum wage by 12 percent in an effort to improve the lives of low cadre employees in the Kenyan workforce.

Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has already advised their members to adhere to the new regulations. “We wish to inform you that this increase has now been gazetted with effect from 1st May 2015. FKE therefore advises all members to effect the payment of minimum wages as gazetted.”

Regulations setting minimum pay for domestic workers were introduced in 2011 and are aimed at improving the working conditions for those employed in the informal economy.

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