Ministry of Finance on May 16 released a circular indicating the decision to implement pay deductions and salary ceilings on government staff and political appointees, effective from May onwards.
According to the ministry, the state will impose pay deductions on salary brackets above MVR 20,000 for all civil servants.
- Basic salary: less than MVR 20,000 - 0 percent deduction
- Basic salary: MVR 20,001 - MVR 30,000 - 20 percent deduction
- Basic salary: MVR 30,001 - MVR 60,000 - 30 percent deduction
- Basic salary: exceeding MVR 60,001 - 35 percent deduction
For political appointees and high-level positions beginning from senior to deputy ministers, the government allocated salary ceilings affecting the total maximum take-home of an individual, inclusive of their allowances. A 20 percent reduction of salaries is also in effect for any individual with monthly basic salary exceeding MVR 20,000.
- Basic salary: less than MVR 10,000 - MVR 25,000 take home
- Basic salary: MVR 10,001 to MVR 15,000 - MVR 30,000 take home
- Basic salary: MVR 15,001 to MVR 20,000 - MVR 35,000 take home
- Basic salary: MVR 20,001 to MVR 25,000 - MVR 40,000 take home
- Basic salary: MVR 25,001 to MVR 30,000 - MVR 45,000 take home
- Basic salary: MVR 30,001 to MVR 40,000 - MVR 50,000 take home
- Basic salary: MVR 40,001 to MVR 50,000 - MVR 55,000 take home
- Basic salary: MVR 50,001 to MVR 60,000 - MVR 60,000 take home
- Basic salary: MVR 60,001 to MVR 80,000 - MVR 65,000 take home
- Basic salary: exceeding MVR 80,001 - MVR 70,000 take home
Government personnel employed in diplomatic missions across the globe, Maldives National Defence Force, Maldives Police Service, Health Protection Agency, National Disaster Management Authority, other frontline healthcare workers exclusive of presidential appointees, and staff that work at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for a minimum of six hours a day, are exempt from salary caps.
Members of the public previously called for further reductions noting the significant wage gaps between high-risk low-income households and senior government employees.
Moreover, activists within civil society have highlighted that a significant amount of parliamentarians have external income sources and find the 20 percent salary reduction to be disproportionate.
In order to support individuals experiencing financial difficulties as a result of employment issues amid the pandemic, the government has introduced an 'Income Support Allowance' which grants an allowance of up to MVR 5,000. Individuals that were laid off, forced to take no-pay leave and subjected to salary deductions, as well as freelancers, are eligible to apply for assistance under the relief scheme.
The Ministry of Economic Development has also established a reporting module via an online platform at www.jobcenter.mv through which individuals can report employment issues.
Additionally, legal experts who spoke to The Edition urged employees, both local and expatriate, to reach out to relevant authorities, including the Employment Tribunal, in case of unfair treatment and dismissals.