The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), has released the Public Service Allowances Policy Guideline,that will provide a structured approach to streamline the management and administration of allowances in the service.
The SRC Chairperson, Lyn Mengich, said the guideline will also ensure transparency, accountability, equity and fairness in the payment for allowances, across the public service employees.
She said standardization and categorization of allowances payable in the public service, provides a control framework for paying allowances.
Speaking, Thursday, during a Joint Press Conference for the Allowances Policy Guideline at the SRC Offices in Nairobi, the Chairperson said for affordability and fiscal sustainability of the Wage Bill, certain guidelines must be adhered to, among them double compensation, regular reviewing of allowances, payment of allowances in Absolute Amounts and not as a percentage of the Basic or Gross Salary, unless where advised by SRC.
“There shall be streamlining of allowances to progressively achieve a proportion of basic salary to gross salary, that is no less than 60 per cent, while taking into account the impact on pension,” said Mengich.
At the same time, she stated that all public institutions will be required to furnish the Commission with all allowances payable in their institutions for review, setting and advice, of which SRC will advise on the streamlining of the allowances, so that it attains the desired proportion of the Basic Salary to Gross Salary that is not less than 60 per cent, as well as advice on the conversion of the allowances.
“The Commission will not allow double compensation, where allowances are paid for purposes that are already compensated for in the Basic Salary,” she cautioned, adding that SRC will avoid situations where remuneration package distorts the relative worth of a job.
Additionally, the Chairperson announced that disparities in the allowances in public service will be progressively harmonized, while taking into account the relative worth of the jobs, the need to facilitate attraction and the retention of requisite skills in different sectors within the service.
“We will also address equity and fairness in pay, affordability and fiscal sustainability,” said Mengich.
The Chairperson said the public service allowances have been categorized into house allowance, commuter allowance, job-related allowances, task-related allowances, labour market adjustment allowances and facilitative allowances in order to control and remove inconsistency and enhance standardized payment of allowance across the service.
She also warned that allowances payable to public officers, will not be used for purposes of computing pension and gratuity, noting that a number of schemes have been factoring some allowances in the computation of pension, thereby, resulting in different quanta being used to calculate pension.
“SRC shall develop a Pension Policy Guideline that will provide guidance on pensionable pay and employer contribution levels in the public service,” she said.
The submission of data on allowances from individual public service institutions is expected by 30th November 2021, of which the Commission will then review and issue advice on allowances to the individual public service institutions by 29th April 2022.
The Commission will conduct compliance checks in July 2022 to enhance adherence to the Policy Guidelines.
The Policy Guideline was developed through a consultative and participatory process with stakeholders and public participation undertaken as required by the Constitution 2010.
By Hamdi Mohamud