Thursday 23 November, 2017

Finance Ministry to Customs, BIR staff: It's work as usual

After threats of staying away from work this Thursday and Friday, the Finance Ministry is reminding Customs and BIR workers that unless they are ill, it's work as usual on those days. 

The Ministry's Permanent Secretary said advised staff of the Inland Revenue Division and the Customs and Excise Division that Thursday and Friday are regular working days. 

The Ministry reminded staff as per the Civil Service Act Chapter 23:01, Civil Service Regulations Chapter IX Part I, that casual absence from work requires the prior approval of the Permanent Secretary or Head of Department and would be registered as annual leave; if no approval is granted, the absence may be treated as leave without pay.

The Ministry reminded workers that staff are entitled to 14 sick days per year and although workers are not required to submit medical certificates for periods shorter than two days, the Permanent Secretary "may require an officer who habitually takes advantage of this concession to present himself to a Government Medical Officer for a Medical Examination".

The Ministry added sick days taken will count toward the worker's total sick leave for the year.

Public Services Association (PSA) President Watson Duke encouraged workers to stay home on Thursday and Friday as part of a protest against the Revenue Authority Bill. 

Duke said that as the Bill facilitates the seizure of property and powers of arrest, that a three-fifths majority should be required. 

He said workers' jobs would not be secure under the new regime and also criticised the Finance Minister's proposed powers over the appointment and management of the CEO and Board of the Authority.