No free lunch for civil servants; 2022 bonus only for hard workers

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By Thandiwe Garusa

STARTING this year, annual civil servants’ bonuses will be paid based on performance appraisal reports, government has announced.

For years, the annual bonuses used to be a blanket payment across the board.

In a circular seen by, the Public Service Commission (PSC) said that 13th cheque would only be paid following staff appraisals by departmental heads.

Each department head will also have their performances assessed by those above their grades.

“The PSC has issued a circular notifying of the changed method of payment of bonuses and other performance related awards in the civil service,” reads the circular by Health Permanent Secretary, Jasper Chimedza addressed to chief directors and subordinates.

Health ministry permanent secretary Doctor Jasper Chimedza

“It is advised that with effect from this year, 2022, bonus will only be paid based on performance appraisal reports. Considering the foregoing, kindly ensure that all members of staff from deputy director level and below are appraised as per the standard requirements.

“You will be notified as to when to submit the consolidated performance ratings at the appropriate time.”

This new method of assessing individual payments comes at a time civil servants fear this could be a way of punishing those who participated in strikes over poor salaries and working conditions.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) leader, Obert Masarure, said the government cannot change policies overnight and all civil servants have the right to get their bonuses.

“Whatever rules or policies that they seek to apply can never be in retrospect, civil servants have the right to get their 2022 bonuses, and this cannot be changed overnight,” he said.

“Appraisals should be ongoing and not only done at the end of year, they should never be weaponised to prejudice workers, this is weakening the civil service and this has to be addressed by ensuring that the servants are well paid, setting realistic goals from the beginning of the year.”