Speaking during the Labour Day celebrations at the Nyayo Stadium, the president announced that the minimum wage had been increased by 12 per cent.
The new wages will be effective 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 pocket Ksh20,680 up from Ksh17,240.
The Head of State noted that the upward review was occasioned by the cost of living, with Kenyans confronting the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.
Central Organization for Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli had previously lobbied for a 40 per cent increment.
However, after negotiations with the Federation of Kenya Employers – FKE, they managed to come down to 23 per cent, a figure the Head of State met halfway.
According to Mugo, despite the reprieve granted on the minimum wage, it will only lock out casual labourers and staff who are paid daily rates and piece rates from the private sector.
When questioned on Uhuru’s request to the private sector to cushion their employees during hard economic times, she noted that while it was every employer’s wish to do so, it may 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.