The Government is apparently inundated with a large number of public servants who want to voluntarily leave the public service through the Early Exit Policy.
The Early Exit Policy should have become effective and applicable on 1 April 2009 when the government wanted to embark on a programme of staff reduction arising from organisational changes.
The Early Exit Policy, which was the result of a Presidential Directive Cab 40/2008, was a reaction to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which had urged the government to cut its public service wage bill.
The government had said then that the Early Exit Policy would apply when there is a total abolition of office for employees of a particular category, occupation or level.
The Director of Public Service Management (DPSM), Carter Morupisi, issued a savingram to government department heads early this month asking them to notify public servants how the government would pay them when they leave service voluntarily and when they are retrenched.
The government is paying public servants who leave service voluntarily better severance pay than when they would if they were to be retrenched. There are fears the government is set to lose key public servants who are badly needed in the civil service.
Public Servants are paid 45 working days for each year worked if they exit the civil service voluntarily. They are paid 40 working days for each year worked if they wait to be retrenched from the civil service.
A public servant who has less than five years of service is paid two months basic salary. One with a minimum of five years of service but less than ten years gets three months basic salary according to the savingram. Public servants who have ten years of service and above get four months basic salary. The above applies for those who leave voluntarily.
Public servants who have worked in the civil service for the same period as indicated above but wait to be retrenched are paid one month salary, two months’ salary and three months basic salary, respectively.
The Early Exit package is paid together with accrued leave and pension or gratuity in line with the provisions of the Pensions Act and Regulations.