I wrote to a client to share how the currency depreciation had affected my ability to pay my staff a living wage.
We signed a contract last year when $1 was SLL 10,000.
Today $1 is 17,000.
I peg salaries to the dollar to protect my staff from economic shocks.
excerpt from the letter
In the past 12 months salaries have depreciated by 40%.
Someone on my team who was earning 5 million ($500) in January is still earning 5 million but now it’s worth $296.
Price of a bag of rice is now 10% of that person’s monthly wages.
Fuel & transport are up.
As an entrepreneur, my team’s welfare is what keeps me up at night.
If they can’t earn a living wage, they won’t have peace of mind.
Thankfully the client has agreed to pay our retainer pegged to the dollar.
We changed our contracts to protect against future currency loss.
Today I can thankfully revise staff salaries upward.
They’ll still be earning the same they did last year in dollars but the leone amount will increase by 40%.
It’s not even really a raise, its just an increase to protect their earnings and ensure they earn a living wage.
Across Sierra Leone employees and employers are struggling with the same issues.
After Ghana, Sierra Leone has the second worst performing currency in the world.
The Govt response is a new policy called “national prayers”.