Finance Minister Outlines Benefits Of Compensation Restructuring

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that the public-sector compensation restructuring exercise will better enable the Government to recruit and retain talented and experienced persons in the civil service.

He was addressing Tuesday’s (March 1) meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, which is deliberating the 2022/23 Estimates of Expenditure.

Implementation of the public-sector-compensation restructuring is slated to commence on April 1.

Dr. Clarke said that the exercise will initially focus on central government “where there are over 100,000 employees”.

He said, “the expectation is that the principles behind the review will incorporate public bodies and that they will, ultimately, be a part of the review exercise”.

Regarding the proposed reduction in the number of non-taxable allowances, Dr. Clarke assured that “no employee in the public sector will be worse off as a result”.

He explained that the Administration undertook a “very detailed” process to create a single job-evaluation system, leading to the development of a new scale based on the resulting scores.

“So instead of having 325 scales [for allowances, as now obtains], we’re going to have a more manageable scale,” the Minister informed.

“So, to the extent that the current compensation [structure] includes a non-taxable allowance and the restructured [structure] does not… the restructured compensation on a net basis will not be lower than the current compensation on a net basis,” he pointed out.

He said, further, that while the compensation review will “lead to levels of remuneration that exceed current levels”, it should not be regarded as a salary increase exercise.

He advised that all existing wage agreements with bargaining units representing public-sector employees are slated to end on March 31, 2022, thereby preventing any possible conflict with the compensation review process.