THE Government is working on dates for payments of this year’s annual bonus for civil servants and yesterday assured that all workers will receive their 13th cheques before Christmas.
In an interview, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Sekai Nzenza, said dates for payments of bonuses were still to be released but reiterated that payments would be made before the Christmas holidays.
“I will have to check when the dates will be released but for a fact the bonuses are coming this year in time for Christmas holidays. Again these dates depend on the Salary Service Bureau on how they will do the payments,” said Dr Nzenza.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube in his budget presentation last week said this year’s bonus will be calculated basing on basic salaries only, unlike in the past where allowances were included.
“Traditionally, payment of the 13th cheque is computed based on basic salary, housing and transport allowances. For 2017, the budget incurred expenditure of US$174,6 million. However, as we embark on austerity measures focusing on enhancing the health of our public finances, the budget proposes a 13th cheque that is computed based on basic salary only (excluding housing and transport allowances). This proposal will yield financial savings of around US$75 million per annum,” said Prof Ncube.
Apex council chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander told Sunday News that civil servants were however, not happy with the new formula.
“While we welcome the payment of bonuses this calendar year, we completely reject the decision to pay bonuses based on basic salary as this amounts to a unilateral withdrawal of a benefit much against the law of the land,” she said.
Prof Ncube also announced that Government will retire all civil servants above 65 years of age and more than 3 000 youth officers.