Why it is difficult to implement the minimum wage increment

Implementation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 18 per cent minimum wage increment for workers faces major hurdles, a labour commissioner said yesterday.

During an international forum on wages at the Stanley Hotel, Cotu, international trade unions and Labour commissioner Dr Sammy Nyambari said there is legislative framework that anchors the minimum wage.

He said the implementation of the pay hike is also hampered by the dynamics of organisations. They don’t give room for an integrated wage across all sectors.

Nyambari said many Kenyan workers earn wages based on their occupation. He said geographical locations also play a key role in the determination of a minimum wage in certain sectors.

For instance, he said, the minimum wage for people living Nairobi is regarded to be much higher compared to those living in other counties.

“We need to empower labour inspectors and the outreach of trade unions especially in informal sector so that we can also cover areas that are difficult to access,” Nyambari said.

He said the ICT sector is the most affected as it has no unions.

Nyambari said the ministry has developed policy on integrated wages and remunerated policy to protect workers..

Cotu secretaty general Francis Atwoli (below) said since the President made the announcement in May, most employers have ignored it and resorted to further oppress their employers with unacceptable pay.

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