Civil servants in Kenya are set to start receiving allowances for any meeting they attend on Zoom as new government regulations on allowances kick in.
Starting from April 2020, all civil servants up to job group J will receive an allowance of KShs 2500 ($25) per hour for any meeting they spend on Zoom or other online meeting platforms, limited to a maximum of 6 hours every day. Those in job group K and below will get KShs 3500 ($35) per hour while Permanent Secretaries, Cabinet Secretaries, Speakers of both houses and members of the judiciary will be getting KShs 4500 ($45) per hour.
The new allowances are meant to help civil servants maintain their incomes since most of them were already earning more money from meeting allowances than from their salaries, and right now all meetings have been cancelled.
“We are introducing these allowances to help retain a sense of decency for civil servants and protect them from embarrassment caused by the loss of income following the outbreak of Covid-19. At the moment, conferences and meetings are not going on, and those were a major source of allowances,” said the head of Salaries and Remuneration Commission in Kenya.
Civil Servants have welcomed the move, and the Secretary General of COTU Francis Atwoli wants employers in the private sector to follow suit and give workers Zoom allowances. This is in addition to free internet, electricity allowance and snacks allowance for working from home.
Reached for comments, some civil servants welcomed the new allowances while a few says that it is not enough.