Ministry of Finance sets upper wage limit for government workers

Ahram Online, Monday 11 Jul 2011

Highest-paid government employees will earn a maximum of 36 times the salary of the lowest but bonus system leaves the door open for incentives

Samir Radwan
Samir Radwan, whose ministry has vowed to limit excessive pay for government employees (Photo: Reuters)
The Ministry of Finance has set its first ever upper wage limit for government employees.
A statement released by the ministry on Monday afternoon said the highest-paid government worker will now earn a maximum of 36 times the salary of the lowest.
The minimum monthly wage for current government employees is now set at LE708, including bonus payments, up from LE444 last year following the introduction of a minimum wage in July.
The new wage applies to 1.9 million working Egyptians, excluding public sector companies, public economic authorities (such as Railway Authority and State TV) and the private sector.
Under the new system, top-ranking government employees would take home a maximum of around LE25,000 per month. 
But despite a pledge to set a limit on bonuses for the highest paid members of staff, the ministry's release gave no further details on restrictions, raising the possibility that diminished base pay may be bolstered by additional incentives.
A statement released on Monday afternoon unveiled a sliding system for payment of salaries for government workers, with longer-standing ones set to gain more than those who recently joined the payroll.
Employees who begin work with the government from July will earn LE684 per month, up from the previous starting wage of LE422.40.
The revision of Egypt's outdated minimum wage has been a controversial issue since long before the revolution.
In June the interim government announced a minimum wage of LE700 for state employees before the revised budget cut it to LE684. 
The ministry has budgeted an initial LE9 billion to increase wages, according to its statement.
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