The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has announced today that First Lady Sajida Mohamed will stay on no pay leave throughout the presidency of President Dr Mohamed Muizzu.
However, as Sajida wishes to continue serving in the health sector even during this period, CSC plans to enter a separate contract with her.
First Lady Sajida is the Senior Scientific Officer at the Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA). Conducting specialized technical work at the authority, she is the sole expert on the area in the Maldives.
In consideration of the fact that she alone in the Maldives has so far studied in this particular area, Sajida wishes to continue serving in the field. She proposed to the CSC to let her continue her work while also fulfilling the duties of being First Lady. The CSC decided that there is no legal objection to her continuing her employment at the authority.
However, assuming two official roles is complicated within the Civil Service regulations. Under this, only a short break is afforded following six hours of work.
Sajida would find it challenging to meet the stipulations in the regulation while simultaneously serving as First Lady and partaking in the related duties including meeting with various organizations, as well as traveling to foreign countries on official visits.
A CSC official stated that even though Sajida has taken a no pay leave from the Health Ministry, she plans to offer her consultancy to the field. The commission said that in order to facilitate this work, they had decided to draft an agreement.
The official said that there are currently other persons as well who are working with the CSC as consultants under contracts after having sought no pay leaves for obtaining higher education. He said that such contracts are permitted under the civil service regulations and pose no difficulties.
"The First Lady will remain on no-pay leave for these five years. The Civil Service Regulations allow a no-pay leave to be granted to a civil service employee who is assuming a different role in the State. As Madam Sajida is the First Lady, we can release her for that service to the State," the official said..
"As she wishes to give contributions to the service, we will enter a contract with her."
CSC stated that First Lady Sajida wants to contribute 40 hours of service per month.
While she is not seeking any remuneration even under the new contract, working without pay under such a contract is not permitted. Therefore, the CSC official said the commission will decide to pay her for days attended.