As much as offering your security guard a cup of tea is a kind gesture, especially in this weather, there is more that goes into how you treat them. Did you, for instance, know that if a security guard works from 6am to 6pm, they ought to be paid overtime? Or did you know that you should not pay your daytime security guard the same amount of money as your night time guard? Here is more.
Legally, workers in Kenya cannot be paid below a certain amount of money. This is called the minimum wage. This wage is determined by a minimum wage order, which is issued by the Cabinet Secretary for Labour. The wage order lists certain workers and determines the minimum amount they should be paid monthly, the daily rate and the hourly rate. The amount differs depending on the location of the workers. Those living in cities, for example, are paid more than those living in other areas. According to the 2018 Minimum Wage Order, which is still in effect, a day security guard should be paid a minimum of Ksh 13,572.90 per month, while a night security guard should be paid a minimum of Ksh 15,141.95 per month.
Security guards are mostly employed as casual workers, whether by security firms or by clients. However, they can only be on casual basis for three months. According to the law, a casual worker that has worked at the same place of employment for more than 90 continuous days is deemed a permanent employee. This means that they are entitled to benefits such as being paid house allowance, which is 15% of their basic salary; NSSF and NHIF covers, among others. After working for twelve consecutive months, they are entitled to an annual leave of at least 21 days.
Contrary to common practice in our country, a security guard should not work for more than 60 hours a week. Any extra hours are to be counted as overtime, for which they should be paid one and a half times of their hourly working rate. Hence if a security guard works from 6am to 6pm, from Monday to Saturday, their hourly wage rate being Ksh 121.30, they should be paid an extra Ksh 2,183.40 per week. Furthermore, they are entitled to one rest day after six days of working. How many times does your security guard get that day off?
We all celebrate when a public holiday is declared, because, at least for the employed people, we have the day off. Well, your security guard should have the day off, too. However, since this may not be possible, the guard should be given holiday pay, a monetary compensation for having to work on a holiday. It should be twice the daily working rate.
It is evident that our security personnel require much more than they are typically given. So the next time you are planning to hire one, remember that they, too, are employees, and they have rights as employees.