Press release: Rewards of Public Servants Shouldn’t Be Misused

The draft Law on wages of public sector employees leaves big discretion to the Government and local administration authorities to define salary supplements and variables aimed at motivating and attracting the experts into the sector.

This document makes increase and decrease of the wage dependent upon the budget revenues and expenditure. Wage supplements and variables are thus the only remaining mechanism for human resource management and motivation of public sector employees.

Precisely because of that, the new Law should ensure flexibility of mechanisms for rewards of employees but transparent and precise procedures for their implementation as well.

The Draft does envisage wage supplements for public sector employees. Among other things, this entails supplement for performing the tasks at certain job positions and special supplement, which is given to employees working at specific tasks of special interest for the state.

However, regulations of conditions and manner of exercising the rights on these supplements is assigned to the Government or to the local administration authorities, what poses a danger of their arbitrary distribution.

Institute Alternative (IA) thus thinks that the Law should contain precise criteria according to which “certain job positions” and “tasks of special interest for the state” will be defined.

Also, this Law is an opportunity for establishing the clear connection between the performance appraisal of public sector employees and their rewards. This particularly applies to the salary variable part which is given to the employees whose performance and quality of work is exceptional.

Yet, the Draft doesn’t list the criteria based on which the “exceptional results and quality of work” will be defined and again leaves discretion to the Government and to local administrations to regulate conditions and procedures for distribution of wage variables.

IA thinks that “exceptional results and quality of work” should be determined in line with the Law on civil servants and state employees and in line with the Decree on benchmarks and manner of performance appraisal of civil servants and state employees.

Criteria of performance appraisal, as they are specified in the two acts, should be basis for distribution of variables if the merit based rewards of employees is to be ensured.

In other words, “exceptional results and quality of work” would entail that the performance of public servants on monthly level has overcome criteria for “excellent” grade and, accordingly, that they deserve to be paid out the variables.

Milena Milošević
Policy Analyst

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