Data protection to increase online jobs, says Mucheru

The ever increasing demand for online jobs in the country will receive a major boost when companies are finally given assurance that their data is protected.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said that at the policy level, data protection is very important just like access to information and as cabinet, they have the Data Protection Bill, which will soon be going to Parliament for enactment into law to ensure that data is protected.

Speaking during the Ajira digital CEO’s round table meeting, Mucheru said he has travelled across the world and has noticed that many developed countries had aging populations and thus were outsourcing their workforce. “The youth should take advantage of this scenario,” he advised.

“Kenya today is one of the leading destinations of online jobs and globally we are ranked 10th. Our fast growth in the sector has a chance of making us number one,” he explained.

The CS said that the government is working to streamline laws and regulations in the area, since it was pretty new, with a lot of hurdles and legal challenges that need to be addressed, though the Kenyan government is still one of the leading in the world in adopting and promoting the use of technology.

“The computer misuse and cybercrime bill also became an act but there are some parts that have been taken to court and we are working to ensure that things are handled professionally in this field,” explained the CS.

He also highlighted that those working online need also to pay their taxes saying, “We have to pay our taxes and consider it as a way of national building and not a punishment. But as government we also need to publish the information because many people are not even aware that the tax is for those who earn above Sh23, 000,” explained Mucheru.

The CS said that for Sh100, 000 online job earnings the tax is Sh5,000 which gives one NHIF and NSSF cover, which actually shows you are a worker in the country and you can use your pay slip and go to banks to acquire a loan.

Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) CEO Carole Kariuki said that lack of information was hampering the growth of online jobs.

She added that many companies had jobs to offer but don’t know which platforms to place them adding there was an information gap which should be addressed.

“Companies are also uncertain about the security of their data fearing the information could be accessed by strangers,” said Kariuki.

She added that companies need to embrace technology by moving away from paperwork.

The CEO highlighted that they are building an association of freelance online workers so that they can train and help them have the capacity to handle online jobs.

“This will give confidence to companies giving online work, knowing that they are dealing with professionals who are organized,” she explained.

  

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