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Improved perks await security guards as tough rules kick in

Thursday, November 30th, 2023 04:37 | By
Guards from a private security firm parade during a past national public holiday in Nairobi. PHOTO/Charles Mathai
Guards from a private security firm parade during a past national public holiday in Nairobi. PHOTO/Charles Mathai

It is now mandatory for all private security firms seeking to provide services in the country to comply with the basic minimum monthly wages for their guards.

Apart from the normal requirements used in determining the responsiveness or suitability of the firms such as tax, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and NSSF compliance certificates, the firms are required to provide a commitment letter confirming compliance of basic minimum wage as stipulated by the Private Security Regulatory Act (Legal Notice No. PSRA/005/2023).

On November 2, the PSRA set the basic minimum monthly wages for all private security guards operating in Kenya as Sh18,994 with a house allowance of Sh2,849.11 and overtime allowance of Sh8,156.81, totalling to Sh30,000 per month.

Only tenderers responsive to all the requirements shall proceed to the next technical evaluation stage, according to PSRA and other government institutions.

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), for example, in one of the tenders for provision of security has indicated that any company that does not comply with be considered to be non-responsive and disqualified.

Comply with directives

Early this month, the PSRA Director General Fazul Mohammed also directed employers to comply with the directives warning that any employer who remunerates guards below the mandated basic minimum shall be liable to a fine of Sh2 million, according to the law.

The security firms must also submit a valid business permit, membership certificate of Protective Security Industry Association (PSIA), Kenya Security Industry Association (KSIA) or any other professional organization, whether local or international.

The PSRA has also commenced nationwide registration, licensing, and issuance of Guard Force Numbers (GFN) to private security officers.

It is now a mandatory requirement for all guards to undergo training in security matters in an institution accredited by the Authority as a prerequisite requirement for registration and licensing in accordance with Section 23 (2) (d) of the Act.

“The guards who will be undergoing PSRA accredited training will be issued with Security Force Numbers,” he said.

Basic minimum salary

Any person -including Government institutions, security companies, corporate entities, organizations, and associations –who hires employs or otherwise engages the services of any private security service provider and pays or remunerates them below the mandated basic minimum shall be liable to a fine of Sh2 million, according to the Private Security Regulatory Act.

The PSRA is established to regulate the Private Security Industry in accordance with the Act and the values and principles set out in the Constitution.

Section 69 of the Private Security Regulation Act states that a person who operates as a private security service provider without being the holder of a valid training certificate from an institution accredited by the Authority or without being registered by the Authority commits an offence and is liable to a fine of Sh2 million.

The government is in the process of fully integrating the private security industry into the national security infrastructure.

This will enhance intelligence gathering, information sharing, crime detection and deterrence, crime scene protection and the collection and preservation of evidence.

Once formalised, private security providers will have a direct line of communication with the government’s command and control centre to minimise bureaucratic red tape and speed up response in emergencies.

The broad and deep penetration of PSOs into society, coupled with their daily interaction with fellow citizens across all social strata, strategically places the officers at the centre of raw intelligence, giving them unfettered access to a treasure trove of information vital to the planning and other security measures, according to experts.

The PSRA is also developing a grading system that will recalibrate reward systems to ensure that officers who are deemed to have excelled in service delivery not only receive appropriate recognition, but also higher grade categorisation and placement in more professionally challenging service cadres.

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