Pay rise for guards risks wage inflation

In Summary

• The state has said that the minimum wage for private security guards should be Sh30,000 per month 

•Government has also said that police, prison guards and NYS should get a 40% pay rise

This week government announced that the minimum wage for private security guards would become Sh30,000 per month. This may have dangerous knock-on effects.

Firstly, technology make is possible for security companies to work remotely. CCTV cameras can transmit video to a command centre where it is monitored for unusual activity. This does not remove the need for physical guards but, at a certain point, it will make financial sense to have fewer guards and more technology. The security sector may now reduce the number of jobs.

Secondly, there is a risk of contagion. The minimum wage is presently Sh650 per day (although many casual workers do not get this much) or Sh3,900 for a six-day week. Other low paid workers may now demand Sh30,000 per month.  

This potential wage inflation is further threatened by the government’s promise to increase salaries for police, prisons and NYS by 40 percent.

Most Kenyans are struggling financially as the global cost of living escalates. But the government should leave the setting of state salaries to the SRC while the private sector should decide the rest so long as it is above the national minimum wage.

Quote of the day: Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.

Niels Bohr
The Danish physicist died on November 18,1962

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