A legal notice issued by Labour secretary Raychelle Omamo now awards domestic workers in major towns in the country with a 12 per cent salary increment.
The new regulations now peg the monthly legal pay for domestic workers at Sh10,954 up from the Sh9,781 that was set last year. Employers are also mandated to grant their workers a mandatory weekly 48-hour break as well as make contributions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Employers 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 and failure to honour the new rules will attract a jail term of three months or a fine of Sh50,000 or both.
During the International Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park on May 1, President Uhuru Kenyatta raised the minimum wage by 12 per cent in an effort to improve the lives of low cadre employees in the Kenyan workforce.
Under the Kenyan law a domestic worker includes a cleaner, cook, gardener, nanny and housekeeper.
However, Kenyans continue to criticize the stipulated salaries for domestic workers terming them as unrealistic based on the current economy.
Below are reactions from women on social media on the issue;
Shreya Shah: Does anyone realise that the new minimum wage is now ABOVE the PAYE tac exempt bracket. this forces employers to deduct and pay the PAYE, Making the workers worse off.
Asha Wango: how r u going 2 pay househelp 10k if many people barely make 20k in a month. So you pay house help same amount you pay for house rent !unrealistic dreamers in the Govt conforting people in the low side of life with unrealistic dreams to get votes.
Phanice Michelle Mongare: if am earning the 10k, how do l pay my househelp the same??.she needs to be practical.
Nancy Bochaberi :It’s ok. I will be providing her with a payslip too showing all deductions from rent, food, & PAYE! Just like how my employer treats me with deductions.
Lucy Wairimu: How does someone on minimum wage as a civil servant pay the same minimum wage to their domestic manager?