Long service allowance | 10 October 2019
Second phase will cost an extra R14 million
As of January 2020, employers serving in public enterprises will benefit from the long service allowance scheme for government employees which was introduced in July 2019.
The scheme will also be extended to cover employees on Public Service Commission (PSC) and Agency contracts from January 1, 2020.
The long service allowance scheme was introduced principally to reward and recognise experience gained through long service, and also as a strategy for attracting and retaining talent in the public service.
Seychelles NATION spoke to the chief secretary and the head of the department of public administration, Jessie Esparon yesterday in her office at the National House to get more details about the scheme.
Seychelles NATION: Mrs Esparon can you please explain to us the reasoning behind this decision?
Jessie Esparon: Last year, government introduced payment of the long service allowance for employees from salary band 1 to band 5 (SB1 to SB5) and those who are not on contract but whose salary fall below SB5. But now you have a group of employees who are on contract with many years of service who might feel that they have not benefited sufficiently from the long service allowance. There are many cases where some people have subordinates who are receiving the long service allowance and they have the same number of years of service but not getting anything. We thought it would be better if they too could get these incentives. Since we introduced the policy, we have had feedback from people and we feel sensitive to their views and feelings, this is why we took that decision. It is a policy of the government for agencies which provide services including commercial agencies such as the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCCA), Seychelles Petroleum (Seypec) etc.
Seychelles NATION: Will all employees who are on contract benefit from the long service allowance and will the benefits that they are getting now as part of their contract be affected?
Jessie Esparon: Everybody who is on a contract in the public service including chief executive officers, directors and whoever’s salary allows them to be on a contract will receive the long service allowance. No, their benefits will not be affected. In fact, the long service allowance will add on to that. There are some 900 people who are concerned with this benefit.
Seychelles NATION: What impact will it have on the national budget?
Jessie Esparon: Of course the government has to bear the cost and we have estimated it will cost around R14 million to implement the additional payment to employees on contract.
Seychelles NATION: What happens to those organisations which upgraded their salary schemes (basic and allowances) after learning that their employees will not benefit from the long service allowances?
Jessie Esparon: These organisations will have to give the long service allowance as they will be pressured by the staff now that the ones on contract will also be benefitting. The department of public administration (DPA) will provide the policies with details regarding the different salary bands and this will not include the National Assembly.
Seychelles NATION: What will happen to an organisation whose employees have been paid all their dues after the previous company was disbanded and the same employees were employed by the new company formed under a new name?
Jessie Esparon: The term of service will run with the years of service. When agencies change names, it is a reform in itself. The law has provision for the transfer of staff.
Seychelles NATION: How will the long service allowance affect the bonus?
Jessie Esparon: Bonus is not obligatory but the 13th month salary is obligatory. If a company has to choose between the two, it has to be the 13th month salary as it is in the policy
Seychelles NATION: Some people in the community are saying this decision might be politically motivated?
Jessie Esparon: The department of public administration is not concerned with politics. We continuously work on different schemes for different groups of people. There is nothing to do with politics. Actually we included the contract workers to protect them.
Seychelles NATION:Thank you Mrs Esparon.