State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Arthur Williams, says the public sector leave system is to be reformed to make it more equitable, and in line with what is obtained in other jurisdictions.
“As Chairman of the Public Sector Monitoring Committee, I have mandated the members to meet and review these public sector leave arrangements and to come up with a more uniformed and a more equitable and indeed a reduced leave liability system for the public sector of Jamaica,” he pointed out, while addressing the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Mandeville, held at the Golf View Hotel, in Mandeville, on February 8.
The State Minister added that under the current public sector leave system, workers can accumulate leave over three years, and then go off for over four months. “Indeed, there is a possibility, with special permission, to accumulate leave up to five years, and you would be able to go off on over seven months leave in a year. That system is generally agreed to be unsustainable,” he said.
He told the Rotarians that to carry the proposal through, it is going to be costly, but the country will save from the reform. The State Minister added that the issue will be an industrial relations challenge, and assured that the Government is committed to ensuring that the process is completed in a short time.
“The Ministry of Finance did a study recently, to try and cost the value of accumulative leave in the public sector and their estimate of the value. If you are to pay out those persons who have accumulated leave, it will be $10 billion. Notwithstanding that, the Government is of the view that leave reform in the public sector is an imperative that must be achieved in a short time,” the State Minister said.
A Green Paper outlining the public sector reform proposals is expected to tabled in Parliament by the end of March.
CONTACT: GARFIELD L. ANGUS
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE