The issue of salaries and wages is a highly charged subject in Kenya, particularly for those in worst-paying jobs who struggle to make ends meet. While many professions in the country have seen significant increases in pay for legislators, public outcry and protests have been largely disregarded.
Politics stands out as one of the most lucrative careers in Kenya, and attempts to achieve wage equality with other workers face strong opposition from those within this sphere.
Similar to many other countries, the majority of Kenyans find themselves in low-paying jobs at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Only a small percentage of privileged Kenyans, such as politicians, lawyers, doctors, and top CEOs, can claim to have well-paying occupations.
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Given the absence of a defined minimum wage in the country, most workers are at the mercy of their employers, who are often reluctant to grant pay raises and may even terminate those who demand one.
Here, we present a list of the worst-paying jobs in Kenya:
1. House helps
House helps are the most underpaid workers in the country. Despite their round-the-clock commitment to various household chores, their earnings are significantly low.
The minimum wage for domestic workers ranges from Ksh 8,580 in cities to Ksh 7,916 in municipalities and can drop as low as Ksh 4,577 in other areas.
Unfortunately, these workers often earn even less than the minimum due to their employers’ low pay standards. Consequently, domestic workers endure some of the lowest-paying careers.
2. County askaris
County askaris, commonly referred to as ‘Kanjo,’ receive wages between Ksh 12,000 and Ksh 14,000. This primarily applies to entry-level positions, classifying them as low-paying jobs in Kenya.
Due to their reputation for enforcing the law harshly against street vendors, county askaris tend to have strained relationships with hawkers.
Waiters not only find themselves among the worst-paid jobs in Kenya but also endure mistreatment in their workplaces.
Employed in the private hospitality industry, they often face grueling working conditions with long hours and no breaks.
While some waiters in prestigious hotels may earn higher salaries compared to civil servants, the majority of their colleagues work in average or low-cost hotels.
The average salary for waiters in Kenya is believed to be around Ksh 10,000, with fortunate individuals earning Ksh 15,000.
Receptionists play a crucial role in shaping an organization’s image as they serve as the first point of contact for clients.
One would expect organizations to adequately compensate them to maintain a positive attitude during client interactions, but this is rarely the case.
Receptionists in Kenya receive a meager salary of Ksh 15,000, and their only solace is knowing that even this small amount is better than nothing.
Merchandisers work within the sales department and are responsible for promoting products to drive sales. They can be seen promoting goods by actively engaging with customers. Merchandisers primarily work for large companies, particularly in the telecommunications industry.
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Despite their vital role in sales and promotion, which contributes to the success of these companies, merchandisers are typically paid very little. Most of their earnings come from commissions based on the sales they generate.
Furthermore, these companies often do not provide transportation or meals, which means that if merchandisers fail to make sales, they may go hungry.
The fortunate ones receive a varying retainer salary, averaging around Ksh 13,000, depending on the specific company.