The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) will determine and set the perks of Kenya’s foreign diplomats and their staff if MPs approve a new Bill into law.
The SRC will review the allowances and other terms and condition of service of diplomats and staff every three years.
Currently, the Public Service Commission (PSC) sets the remuneration and allowances for diplomats and staff working in missions abroad.
“The Cabinet Secretary (CS) shall, on the advise of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission prescribe the level of allowances and other entitlements applicable to high commissioners, ambassadors, diplomatic and consular representatives,” The Foreign Service Bill, 2021 states.
It mandates the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary to undertake a review of allowances and other perks for its foreign staff.
“Every three years, the Cabinet Secretary shall undertake a review of the level of allowances and other entitlements of its overseas staff and shall in consultation with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) vary them as appropriate,” the Bill states.
It is sponsored by Katoo Ole Metito, the chairperson, Defense and Foreign Relations committee. It will require the PSC, in consultations with Foreign Affairs CS, to prescribe the condition of service for officers, high commissioners, ambassadors, diplomatic and consular representatives and other diplomatic representatives.
The public sector wages comprise basic salaries, remunerative allowances such as house and commuter; hardship, extraneous, domestic, and risk that are fixed in the pay slip.
The perks include medical and entertainment allowance as well as utility allowance to cater for water, electricity, airtime and security bills.
The Bill comes at a time when the SRC has proposed new staffing and remuneration guidelines aimed at taming Kenya’s ballooning public wage bill. SRC wants to cap allowances at not more than 40 percent of the monthly gross pay for new employees joining the civil service.
The SRC reckons many of the allowances being paid are already catered for through the workers’ basic pay, ultimately inflating salaries.