Government releases $2,500 travel allowances

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MINISTRY of Finance and Treasury has paid the $2500 travelling allowances to public servants, who are taking emergency leave due to the coronavirus.

Permanent Secretary, Dentana Mckinnie confirmed this to Island Sun yesterday saying the allowances are paid through payroll and all public officers should have received their travel allowances yesterday [Thursday, April 16].

Mckinnie said police and teachers ‘should receive theirs last week’.

A statement from the Government Communication Unit issued on March 31st stated that Cabinet has made the decision on March 26 and has instructed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service to advise public servants of this process.

“Under this latest measure, public servants under the non-essential services are authorized to take emergency paid leave of absence from work starting on March 31 until further notice.

“After 30 days leave period, public officers’ remuneration will be on half-pay until they are recalled to duty. On resumption to duty, officers’ salaries will be reinstated in full while the other 50% salary withheld during emergency leave will also be repaid in full.

“Salaries of non-established employees at grade levels 1 and 2 shall continue to be paid in full whether they are taking emergency leave or remain at work.

“Public Officers taking emergency leave shall be supported with a traveling assistance of $2,500.00 as a one-off payment irrespective of their leave destinations.

“Essential Services ministries and agencies will continue discharging their services as usual and are advised to adhere to all occupational health and safety measures in the course of duty.

“Any essential services officers who may have serious pre-existing health conditions are advised to consult their respective responsible officers if they wish to take emergency leave.

“All officers at the executive and senior management level across the service are instructed to work at home to maintain communication through available information and communication technologies. These categories include Permanent Secretaries, Under Secretaries, Directors, Financial Controllers and Human Resource Managers.”

Meanwhile some teachers have also questioned why they have been left out of the $2,500 travelling allowance as they are also public servants under non-essential services.