Ministry of Finance on Sunday called on state institutions to pay overtime and public holiday allowances to employees who are working amid the ongoing state of public health emergency.
In a circular signed by Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, the ministry declared that all government offices and institutions, which are currently shutdown under measures taken in response to the public health emergency, must pay overtime allowances for staff ordered to go on duty or report to office to provide the required services for the public.
The ministry also stated that any employee ordered to work to execute the measures ordered by Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru under the emergency, must also receive allowances.
As per policy, the finance ministry noted that overtime allowances must account for work done beyond official working hours. If an employee was required to commence work halfway through official hours or afterwards, overtime would be counted six hours after the employee has been at work.
Regarding public holidays allowances, the ministry noted that the days for which state institutions are closed due to the emergency do not count as public or national holidays, outside of the dates previously declared by the president. Thus, government offices are directed to make arrangements for public holiday allowances as such.
However, the finance ministry also urged all offices and institutions to make work arrangements such that staff are not required to work overtime, and to minimise state expenditures as much as possible.
The government declared Maldives' first ever state of public health emergency on March 12 over the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially imposed for a period of 30 days, the emergency has since been extended until the end of April. Among the measures taken under the emergency in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the government has shut down all state offices and educational institutions, and urged the public to remain home unless absolutely necessary and to practise social distancing.