CIVIL servants will be paid their bonuses before the end of the year, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, said yesterday.
This is a departure from previous years when payments were staggered, with the last 13th cheque being made in the middle of the following year.
However, this year’s bonus will be paid based on basic salary only, excluding housing and transport allowances as was the case previously.
Presenting the 2019 National Budget in Parliament, Prof Ncube said Government appreciates the hard work rendered by its employees and recognises the 13th cheque as an integral component of the remuneration framework.
“Government has taken the position that bonus be payable for 2018, with commitment that these payments be processed before year end. Traditionally, payment of the cheque is computed as the sum of basic salary, housing and transport allowances.
“In light of the resolve to ensure that expenditure commitments don’t further worsen challenges associated with deficit financing that has placed us in the prevailing difficult situation that we find ourselves in, the 13th cheque is, henceforth, computed based on basic salary only, excluding housing and transport allowances,” said Prof Ncube.
The Minister noted that this year is ending at a time when employees are facing a number of hardships.
“Previously, the Budget incurred expenditure of around $174, 6 million in bonus payment. With regard to the 13th cheque payment, Government recognises that this is an integral component of the remuneration framework,” he said.
Prof Ncube said as part of its restructuring programme, Government would retire the remaining 2 917 youth officers and their posts would be removed from the establishment by the end of next month.
“At its 38th meeting of December 5, 2017, Cabinet re-affirmed its decision to terminate employment contracts of 3 188 youth officers as previously resolved.
“Drawing from this resolution and guidance from the Civil Service Commission, Treasury proceeded to mobilise in its first instance, $52 million in December 2017 towards three months cash-in-lieu of retirement notices and in the second instance $17, 7 million on February 16, 2018 towards pension benefits for the officers,” said Prof Ncube.
He said next year, civil servants would go through a biometric registration programme in an effort to weed out ghost workers.
The Minister said the system would ensure that every person being paid by Government for services rendered is properly accounted for.
“Previous civil service audits undertaken by Government in 2011 and 2015 point to possible existence of ghost workers in the service, who are contributing to the burgeoning public service wage bill which accounts for over 90 percent of total revenues.
“Clearly, this goes against the thrust of re-orienting budget expenditures towards growth enhancing and poverty reducing developmental programmes and projects through rationalisation of the public service wage bill,” said Prof Ncube.
The registration, he added, would be rigorous and would involve capturing data on letters of appointment, academic and professional qualifications, national identification documents, employment code numbers and biometric data.
Prof Ncube said biometric data would involve capturing one’s unique physical attributes such as finger prints, DNA, iris and retina pattern using ICT.
Since assuming office in November last year, President Mnangagwa has emphasised the need to change the work ethic in the public service and rationalise the Government workforce.