The House of Representatives, the lower house of Egypt’s parliament, approved amendments to Civil Service Law 81/2016 on Sunday, with the objective of increasing allowances and incentives granted to state employees.
A report prepared by parliament’s Labour Committee and Budget Committee clarified that the new eight-article bill reflects the state’s commitment to achieving economic and social stability for the families of state employees.
“This bill also comes at a time of difficult economic conditions, as the Covid-19 pandemic has hard hit many sectors of society, particularly state employees,” the report said.
Article 1 of the bill states that the periodical bonus granted to state employees, addressed by Civil Service Law 81/2016, will be increased to LE75 per month. For state employees not covered by the law, Article 2 indicates that they will be granted a special bonus at a rate of 13 per cent of basic salary and at a minimum of LE75 per month as of the beginning of July 2021.
Article 3 of the new bill states that an additional incentive for state employees and workers, whether or not covered by the law, will be increased by between LE225 and LE400, depending on the employee’s rank.
“Workers in the third category will get an additional incentive of LE225, those in the second category will get LE275, those in the first category will get LE325, and those in the ‘excellent’ category will get LE400,” said the report.
Article 5 states that workers in the public sector as well as public-enterprise companies will be given the same amounts. Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said the new increases in bonuses and incentives would come into effect as of 1 July.
He explained that the law will add a bonus of LE75 plus an incentive of LE175 to make a minimum increase of LE250 for each state employee, indicating that the increases would cost the state budget LE25 billion. “State employees who move to the New Administrative Capital will also be given a bonus at a cost of LE1.5 billion,” Maait said.
Parliamentary Speaker Hanafi Gibali said state employees would benefit from the new bonus and incentive increases even when they reach retirement age.
Parliament’s approval of the bill came after the cabinet approved in its weekly meeting on 19 May the new basic salary hikes increasing minimum wages for the lowest category from LE2,000 to LE2,400. The last minimum wage increase for the public sector was introduced in 2019, when President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi raised it to LE2,000 from LE1,200.
The bill implements a set of presidential decisions in March to boost the incomes of millions of Egyptians through increases in the minimum wage for public-sector employees, pensions, and civil servant salaries.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 27 May, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly