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SRC raises the housing allowance for government employees

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SRC raises the housing allowance for government employees

Following an adjustment to housing allowances by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), civil officials are expected to get a wage raise.

For instance, Nairobi-based civil officials in job group K will now earn a monthly dwelling allowance of Sh16,500 instead of Sh10,000 under the revised rates.

The salary increase for Nairobi-based public officers in job category A, which includes drivers, personal secretaries, cleaners, and messengers, from Sh3,000 to Sh3,750 per month is sure to disappoint many given how much below current market values it remains.

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From the projected implementation date forward, “the new rates for the housing allowances shall apply to all public officers, other than state officers, at the national and county government, including state businesses. In order to implement the reviewed/harmonised provisions, respective employers in the civil service should begin collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) with the pertinent trade unions, according to a circular from SRC.

Public employees who reside in any of the formerly significant municipalities—Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Eldoret, Thika, Kisii, Malindi, and Kitale—will receive the same housing allowance under the review. For instance, the allowance for civil officials in job group K working in the nine former municipalities will increase to Sh12,000 from Sh8,000. Their coworkers in similar positions in other former municipalities will now receive Sh5,800 instead of Sh3,500.

Since rental costs for both public and private sector-owned properties have increased, civil officials have been under pressure to find homes.

For instance, the State Department for Housing increased the rent on all properties controlled by the government by 10% as of April 1, 2022. The state contended that despite numerous assessments of civil officials’ housing allowances since 2001, their monthly rent payments have not changed.

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The SRC also scrapped a system whereby hardship allowance payments were dependent on basic salary, so that civil officials will henceforth get uniform rates.

“Hardship allowance shall be provided at a flat rate for all comparable grades in the public sector, including at the county and national levels. The SRC has done away with tying the allowance to a portion of the base pay, according to the commission.

Job Group A’s lowest-ranking officers will get a uniform hardship stipend of Sh2,800 per month, while Job Group T’s highest-ranking officers will receive Sh60,000. Mid-level officers in job groups K, L, and M will get, respectively, Sh10,900, Sh12,300, and Sh14,650.

The housing and hardship allowance reviews are a part of the adjustments SRC is implementing to boost performance while minimizing the burden on the public purse. The SRC disclosed modifications to a number of allowances, including those for lunches and retreats, in December.

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The new rules eliminate lunch stipends for federal officials who receive a daily subsistence payment while working away from their desks.

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