Section 31(1) of the Employment Act, 2007, requires employers to provide reasonable housing accommodation for employees near their place of employment or pay the employee a sufficient sum, in addition to salary, as rent to enable the employee to obtain reasonable accommodation. However, Sub-Section(2) provides that Section(1) shall not apply to an employee whose contract of service;
a) contains a provision which consolidates as part of the basic wage or salary of the employee, an element intended to be used by the employee as rent, or which is otherwise intended to enable the employee to provide himself with housing accommodation; or
b) is the subject matter of, or is otherwise covered by a collective agreement, which provides consolidation of wages as provided in Paragraph(a).
House allowance is one of the remunerative benefits paid monthly to public servants to cater for their residential rental expenses. The Human Resource Policies and Procedures Manual for the Public Service, 2016, provides that public servants are eligible for house allowance applicable to their grades as stipulated in government Circulars issued from time to time. The house allowance rates generally vary by cadre and working station.