Revised Hardship Areas: Government degazettes the following hardship areas, designates them as moderate instead of extreme
Newly- designated (TSC) Hardship Areas, hardship allowance and latest payment rates
The government recently announced more than 60 divisions which have now been designated as moderate while 17 were listed as extreme hardship areas.
TSC has more hardship areas, 38, a source of discontent among other civil servants
Consequently, civil servants posted to the said areas will henceforth be entitled to a uniform hardship allowance based on the magnitude of the tough working conditions of the region as opposed to their salary.
Citing the Teachers Service Commission, TSC which has 38 areas gazetted as hardship compared to the rest of the Public Service including the Forces, which have 15, the minister said that this situation is a source of discontent among other civil servants.
Government cites huge disparities in hardship allowance among civil servants
The government also noted that some civil servants are earning a lot more than others, an aspect that serves to demoralize the lowest paid employees.
These huge disparities have culminated in demotivation of low earners who view their posting to hardship areas as punitive.
“Some civil servants are being paid hardship allowance at the rate of 30 per cent of basic salary subject to a maximum of Sh1,200 a month for married officers and Sh600 for single officers,” said Dalmas.
Due to the disparities in the payment of hardship allowance, public servants earning higher allowances view them as a salary supplement and not partial compensation for deployment in the hardship areas.
Other public servants earning low rates, on the other hand, who do not consider the rates of the allowance as commensurate with the level of hardship in the area, view their posting as punitive.
“As a result, the payment of hardship allowance has become a major source of discontent among civil servants due to the differences in total salary package,” Dalmas said.
“This has contributed to resistance to postings to areas designated as hardship with consequent negative impact on service delivery and staff retention,” he added.
This new move will see the budgetary allocation for payment of hardship allowances increase by Sh500 million, pushing the ministry’s budget from Sh5.2 billion to Sh5.7 billion annually.
Latest Hardship Allowance for Civil Servants
“All civil servants in areas designated as ‘moderate’ will be paid Sh 5,000 a month,” Dalmas announced at a press conference at Harambee House.
“While those designated as ‘extreme’ will be paid a flat rate figure of Sh10,000 a month.”
While degazetting the areas, the Government considered various factors such as availability and accessibility of food, potable water, and social services and amenities.
The divisions include Kakuzi, Makuyu, Kieni East and West divisions in Central Province.
In Eastern Province the divisions degazetted are Mbooni, Kilungu, Kaiti, and Kilome.
Rift Valley has the highest number of divisions no longer designated as hardship areas. These include Ngong in Kajiado North and Fort Ternan-Muhoroni in Ainamoi.
Four divisions in Kilgoris affected by the minister’s move include Kirdon, Keiyan, Puirra and Kilgoris. Kapsowar, Kapcherop and Chebiemit in Marakwet West. Tirap and Kabiengo in
Marakwet tops the list from the Rift Valley region.
Nyanza Province’s divisions degazetted include Miwani, Nyando, Upper and Lower Nyakach and Sondu divisions.
Why hardship allowance?
“The objective of paying allowance was to partially compensate public servants working in areas designated as hardship for lack of basic social services and amenities, risk, isolation and family separation,” Dalmas explained.
The minister said the different areas have since been classified as hardship for various public service organizations, thereby creating disparities.