The House of Representatives approved on Monday the Civil Service Law, which it had previously rejected in February. Speaker Ali Abdul Aal announced the government-proposed bill will be sent to the State Council for review.
The parliament approved two long-debated articles, which regulate an annual incentive and the appointment of temporary and seasonal employees or workers, state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported.
The State Council’s department of Fatwa and Legislation will review the bill for wording and constitutionality of articles.
On another note, the parliament on Sunday also approved an annual salary increment of 7%, instead of 5%.
Labour unions have rejected the new percentage, as it does not account for the rate of inflation in accordance with the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) estimates, media coordinator for the Tadamon Coalition Wael Tawfik told Daily News Egypt.
Members of parliament seem to be divided over the decision. Several MPs rejected Abdul Aal’s decision, suggesting that the annual increment should be raised from 7% to 10% to account for inflation and economic conditions.
However, MP Abdel Fattah, a member of the Labour Force Committee, told Daily News Egypt that all segments of society are struggling from financial problems, but Egypt is doing its best, despite the economic problems.
Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Araby approved of Abdul Aal’s decision, saying that putting pressure on the state to raise the annual salary increment to 10% will result in the need to print even more banknotes, which will cause severe consequences.
The government stated that it is unable to increase this percentage from 7%, due to the budget deficit and state debt.
“This is illogical,” said Tawfik, comparing the situation to the recent decision to increase pensions for the Armed Forces to 10%.
The session also saw discussions of amendments to other articles about imposing penalties on employees, as a number of MPs criticised the plurality of these articles and demanded mitigation.
Labour unions have attempted to pass self-drafted Civil Service Law amendments on to parliament, but those have been consistently rejected.
The Civil Service Law was initially rejected in February for a number of reasons, mainly due to its unconstitutionality. Its first article states exceptions for certain governmental authorities from implementing the law. It was resubmitted to parliament later in February, following the harsh amendments by the ministries of finance and planning to prohibit financial bonuses.
The first draft of the Civil Service Law was the only decree rejected by parliament during its review of over 300 decrees issued by former interim president Adly Mansour and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.