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Uhuru Increases Minimum Wage By 12%

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Uhuru Increases Minimum Wage By 12%.President Uhuru Kenyatta has increased the minimum wage for Kenyan workers.During the Labour Day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium, the president announced that the minimum wage had been raised by 12%.The new wages will go into effect on May 1, 2022.“As a caring government, we find that there is a compelling case to review the minimum wage to cushion our workers against the further erosion of their purchasing power while also guaranteeing the competitiveness of our economy."In that context, I today declare an increase of the minimum wage by 12 percentage points, with effect from Sunday, May 1, 2022,” the President announced.President Kenyatta’s proclamation means that the lowest-earning Kenyan will now receive Ksh20,680 per month, up from Ksh17,240 previously.The Head of State noted that the upward revision was prompted by the rising cost of living, with Kenyans confronted by skyrocketing prices for basic commodities.Francis Atwoli, Secretary General of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), had previously lobbied for a 40% raise.However, after negotiations with the Federation of Kenya Employers – FKE, they were able to reduce the figure to 23%, a figure with which the Head of State agreed to meet halfway.Speaking to the media shortly after Uhuru’s directive, FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo noted that the proclamation will have an impact on the private sector as well, but she promised to comply.“It sits in a difficult way with us and is a tough one to absorb. But as people from the private sector, since this has been announced and has come from the government, we will abide by it,” Mugo stated.According to Mugo, despite the reprieve granted on the minimum wage, it will only lock out casual laborers and staff from the private sector who are paid daily rates and piece rates.When asked about Uhuru’s request to the private sector to cushion their employees during difficult economic times, she said that while it was every employer’s desire, it might not be sustainable.“Employers not only value employees but also pay the best that we can. The issue is can the business absorb the cost because its a fixed cost that occurs monthly. That is the challenge we have, the sustainability,” the FKE Executive Director noted.“What this minimum wage does is to limit the number of new entrants into employment. The question is do we pay fewer people more or pay more people a little less but increase the number of more people entering employment?” She posed.Uhuru Increases Minimum Wage By 12%

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