Government, through Public Service Management Division permanent secretary Boniface Chimbwali, has announced a change in management of leave days which among other things entails that civil servants will be required to take at least 30 days leave annually.

And civil servants who accumulate days in excess of their prescribed leave will forfeit the extra days.

According to a circular addressed to State House Principal Private Secretary, Smart Zambia Institute, all Permanent Secretaries and deputy auditor general on August 16, the move was in line with the implementation of austerity measures.

“Following the issuance of Public Service Management Division Circular No B23 of 2016 and further to Cabinet Office Circular Number 15 of 2018, Government has put in place a number of austerity measures relating to the administration and management of leave days in the Public Service. These measures are intended to prevent further worsening of the current debt situation related to emoluments and to enforce the existing Terms and Conditions of Service for the Public Service. In this regard, addresses are hereby directed to ensure that: Vacation leave, all public service employees take leave of at least 30 days or more annually, to reduce expenditures related to personal emoluments such as commutation of days; the provision of the Terms and Conditions of Service No. 141 (a) that requires an officer to proceed on 30 days or more paid leave every two years is hereby amended accordingly,” read the circular.

“Vacation leave allowance continues to be granted at intervals of 24 months and not annually as provided for in the Terms of Conditions of Service No 141 (c).”

And all civil servants who accumulate leave days in excess of their prescribed limits will forfeit their excess days.

“All public employees do not accumulate leave days beyond the prescribed maximum limits of 230 for Division I, 205 for Division II and 160 days for Division III as provided in the terms and Conditions of Service No. 104 (a) and an employee who accumulates leave in excess of the prescribed limit shall forfeit his or her excess number of days to the government or employer, commutation of leave days is suspended until the fiscal position and debt situation improves and outstanding commutation claims already approved and awaiting payment prior to the issuance of Cabinet Office Circular No.15 of 2018 dated 29th June, 2018 be scrutinised and reviewed; and only those employees who at the time had accumulated leave days above the maximum entitlement of 230 for Division I, 205 for Division II and 160 days for Division III as provided in the Terms and Conditions of Service No 104 (a), be qualified for the payment of the outstanding commutation,” wrote Chimbwali.