Civil servants’ allowances up
The government has raised leave grants and subsistence allowances for civil servants in respect of their grades, a circular from Capital Hill indicates.
A letter from Secretary for Human Resource Management and Development dated December 6 2019 advises principal secretaries and heads of departments that the adjustments should be within the approved 2019/2020 budget.
The raise in allowances is with effect from January 1 2020 and July 1 for leave grants. There are over 180,000 civil servants.
The government has adjusted upwards subsistence allowance for civil servants travelling on duty within Malawi to cater for, among others, accommodation and incidentals.
For instance, where accommodation has not been provided, employees on grade A will be given K60, 000, K55, 000 for grades B and C, K50, 000 for grade D and grades L and below will be getting K20, 000 as daily subsistence allowances.
While incidental allowances where accommodation is provided those on grade A will be given K7, 000, K6, 500 for those on grades B and C, K6, 000 for those on D and K4, 000 for those on grades G to L.
On leave grants which have been revised effective July 1 2020, those on grade A, with an entitlement of 36 leave days, will receive K112, 000.
Employees on grades B and C will be receiving K104, 000 and K96,000 respectively.
The least grades, Q to R with 15 leave days entitlement, will cart home K31, 000.
“You are further advised that the adjustment of the leave grants rates as approved by the government should be contained within the approved 2019/2020 budgets in your ministry or department. The relevant section of the Malawi Public Service Regulations will be amended accordingly to reflect the revised rates,” the letter signed by the Secretary for Human Resource Management and Development, Hillary Chimota, reads.
In the year ending, the government has been grappling with settling leave grants for civil servants especially teachers.
Reacting to the development, Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) General Secretary, Madalitso Njolomole, has since welcomed the government’s move to hike the allowances and leave grants.
“What has been implemented is what we discussed with the government. We are happy considering that this was last adjusted in 2014. It might not be enough looking at prevailing economic factors but it is good for a start,” Njolomole said.
Early this month, CSTU gave the government two weeks to conclude vetting deserving civil servants for promotion or face unspecified action.
There are between 3,000 and 4,000 civil servants in the mainstream civil service awaiting promotion.
Teachers Union of Malawi General Secretary, Charles Kumchenga, said while the hike was a good development, the government should put its house in order to avoid misunderstandings over delays in settling teachers’ pay.
“We have always, complained over delayed salaries, leave grants, arrears and other issues. To us, teachers, when the government is bringing in incentives such as these, we feel like it is another challenge on our heads because we feel we shall grapple pushing the government to pay us in time. That said, time has come for the government to put its house in order,” he said.
There was no immediate comment from the government on the issues raised and whether the incentive will not come with challenges as has been the case in the recent past.
Earlier this year, the government promoted 20,210 teachers and 7,000 police officers in the run up to the May 21 tripartite elections.