President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered an 18 percent increase in the minimum wage.

The directives come amid concerns by Kenyan employers that any further increase to the minimum wage would hurt the economy.

The presidential order comes at a time when the country is facing a soaring inflation to a high of 11.5%,mostly driven by rising food prices and eroding the purchasing power of many workers who now find it harder to put food on the table.

The head of state has also urged Kenyans going to work abroad to use approved agencies in a bid to cushion themselves from migrant worker abuse. He says the government has now streamlined the registration and management of foreign employment agencies.

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli urged the government to invest in projects that will spur economic growth to create new and many jobs for Kenyans so as to curb cases of Kenyans travelling abroad to look for jobs in the middle ease.

Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) had earlier stated that the cost of doing business in the country has gone up by 30 per cent, forcing many companies to move to Ethiopia, Egypt, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Rwanda where wages are more sustainable.

The head of state was speaking during the 51st Labour Day celebrations.