Nothing breaks your heart like lining up to go the the ATM on the first of the month then getting to the front and getting that message. The one that tells you that you still have no money. Meanwhile, in your wallet, things are not going too well.
What should you do about it?
Take it to Court
In Kenya, salary delays are punishable by law (bet you didn’t know that). When you feel they’ve crossed the line, taking them to court may be your only shot at getting your dues. According to Edwin, who has worked in the Langata Law Court before, threatening to take legal action can get you paid but you shouldn’t expect to continue working for whatever organisation you prosecuted.
Communication Scholar, Christine Akinyi says that you should keep your ear to the ground before taking any legal action. “Make sure you know what’s happening,” she argues. “Don’t do anything before you know what’s going on.”
Life’s tough. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
If you have to walk to work everyday and eat that 5 bob mandazi in quarters during the day then do it. “I once survived on the free tea the office provides,” says Victor Muriuki, “things were thick.”
Keep Calm and Wait for the Smoke to Clear
Usually, there are very good, clear-cut reasons for salary delays and “the company has no money” is far from the only one. A delay may be caused by a slight technical hitch or a mistake in the Accounts Department so there is no need to panic before the facts are stated.
“Kama kimeumana, kijana, it’s time to move on,” asserts Francis. He says you shouldn’t let anyone get wind of your plans to make an exit. In case things turn around, you’ll want to make sure you haven’t burnt any bridges at your place of work.
Also, if you are subscribed to mobile banking, do not make too many inquiries because the transaction fees can deplete your balance. One particular employee spent KES 90 doing just that when his account initially had KES 636 to spare. He later realised that had he withdrawn the cash using M-Pesa, he would have had KES 500 to keep him going for at least a couple of days.
If the delay persists, Edwin says that you should use whatever leverage you have to make it stop. “I told my boss I can’t come to work because I don’t have fare,” says Edwin, referring to a stint he had with a local bottling company. “Kwani ata-do?”
Of course, letting your superiors know that you manage your finances like a child who spends all his money in one shop does not paint a very good picture of you as a responsible human being, hence why there’s another option.
Get a Salary Advance
This is the more amicable solution. Get your Payday Advance from Chase Bank. This will give you the much needed float to push you to your next salary. You don’t need to worry about when your paycheck comes in and it will definately keep you from looking financially illiterate.
Or, a crazy idea, try not to live from paycheck to paycheck – it helps.