SRC out to quash push for send off packages

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has warned state agencies both at the national and county level against setting retirement and send off packages without its authority.

This comes as a number of agencies plan to create multi billion send off packages that threaten to drive up the country’s wage bill.

In an opinion piece in the dailies, SRC Chairperson Sarah Serem said the commission had noted with growing concern plans by public officers to enact bills to enhance their retirement packages.

For instance, Parliament is pushing to pass a Sh2.4 billion severance package as legislators seek compensation for the early end of their terms.

“In 2013, the commission set the state officers’ salaries and benefits and advised on implementation…..Any attempt by public office holders to pay themselves more under the guise of send-off packages will violate the provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution,” Ms Serem said.

According to SRC, a state officer who does not qualify for payment of pension may be considered for a service gratuity at the rate of 31 per cent of the basic pay while those entitled to a pension cannot be paid a gratuity.

“This would amount to double benefit from the same employer and would be in total violation of the employment laws,” she stressed.

The Parliamentary Service Commission is seeking the Sh2.3 billion to pay 68 Senators and 350 members of the National Assembly the severance allowance.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has been out to put a lid on the ballooning wage bill even commissioning an audit seeking to scrap expensive allowances paid to civil servants.

While the basic salaries for civil servants remain relatively low, the high allowances have seen some get ten times what they are paid through allowances.

Heading into the August 8th polls, the government has been squeezed into a corner, approving a Sh100 billion pay rise for civil servants.

The pay hike will push the government’s wage bill to over six hundred billion shillings.

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