It is of urgent necessity to streamline the government pay scale for its massive bureaucracy to ensure salary equity and transparency for all government employees, said an official on Tuesday.
This assertion was made by Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh in a press statement following his meeting with members of the parliamentary committee on human resources, where they discussed reforming the government salary system altogether. Al-Saleh allayed fears of some government employees who thought their current high salaries would be slashed if the streamlined pay scale was adopted.
On the contrary, he said in excess of 50 percent of government employees would see upticks in their salaries once the new pay scale was approved. Salary increases, in the new pay scale, would be predicated — among other things — on the rise in the cost of living, he said, noting that bonuses also would be doled out in direct conformity with an employee’s job performance. Once applied, the new government pay scale would ensure that those employees with similar qualifications would be paid similar salaries no matter which government ministry, agency, or institution they worked in, said Al- Saleh. He indicated that currently the salary system encompassed no less than 200 different allowances that were added to the employee’s base pay, such as marital allowances or children’s allowances … etc, which constitute altogether about 65 percent of the salary.
These allowances encumbered the calculation and distribution of the employee’s gross salary, he said, noting that the new pay scale would streamline the system of allowances by paring them down to just a few and render them more equitably distributed. In the new government pay scale, once it is approved by the parliament, the salaries of all employees of the public sector would be promptly reviewed every three years to take into account the rise in the rate of inflation, he said.
The government has suggested salary reform for its employees in order to ensure equal pay and privileges for those with similar qualifications without creating tiers of employees whose salaries differ sharply for no fact-based reasons. The new pay scale is now in its infancy as a proposal to the parliament, awaiting the lawmakers’ opinions of it. If approved by them, the new salary reform will be a remarkable metamorphosis of an antiquated government pay scale that has been wracked with loopholes for decades.