Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saafan announced that his ministry’s Emergency Benefits Fund is working on the disbursement of over EGP 171m aid to 162,939 tourism sector workers.
The workers are from 1,530 tourism establishments that have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has severely impacted global tourism.
The aid represents 100% of the workers’ basic wage, which is the limit under the employer’s insurance, and which has been fixed under that policy at EGP 600 minimum.
Saafan said the support is in line with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s directives to ensure regular workers in the tourism sector, and who have been affected by the global pandemic, receive salaries.
He added that 3,800 facilities have so far applied for the subsidy that will be given to workers affected by the pandemic. Saafan noted that a further 2,270 tourist establishments are currently completing their data to receive subsidies from the ministry.
Saafan stressed that special rules for the tourism sector were established in agreement between the ministries of manpower, tourism, and planning during their last meeting to support that sector.
Tourism is generally the first sector impacted by any crisis, and the last one to recover, with most of workers in this sector having no fixed income as the sector was badly hit.
This often leads to a halt in income, with many forced to leave the sector altogether as a result. It also leads to a negative impact on the sector when tourism resumes, due to a reduced number of trained employees.
To ease the impacts of crises on the tourism sector, the government has undertaken several initiatives to protect its labour force. This includes tourism establishments who sack staff losing their licences, as well as the launch of a hotline for employees to report unfair dismissals in the sector.
Part of the Manpower Ministry’s Emergency Benefits Fund has also been allocated as an emergency aid for tourism workers. This comes in addition to implementing an initiative to support animal-based tourism workers, such as horse-drawn carriages owners, as well as feluccas at archaeological sites.