Parliament approves Social Allowance Law after disputes over its effect on labour wages
420 MPS APPROVED THE LAW, ONLY 5 REJECTED, WITH GOVERMENT DEFENDING THE LAW
The Egyptian parliament approved in its general assembly on Wednesday the special bonus law drafted by the government for workers and employees who are not working under the Civil Service Law.
On Tuesday, Abdul Aal postponed voting on the law until reaching a quorum of two-thirds of members of parliament (MPs), in accordance with the law. If the quorum was twice not reached, the law would become invalid for any further voting attempts.
There are around 6.5 million workers in Egypt working for governmental institutions, with only 3.5 million working in accordance to the Civil Service Law. Meanwhile, the remaining will work in accordance with the bonus law.
Tuesday’s session witnessed division among MPs regarding Article 5 of the law, as some suggested its cancellation.
Egypt’s Support Coalition in parliament urged for the article to remain—as suggested in the government draft—with the importance of retroactive payment of the allowance and the assuring that no employee or worker shall be affected by the application of the article and will receive his full financial rights.
The article stipulates paying 10% as social allowance to the basic salary, and this will be applied in June. This implies that the value of the allowance will be constant on certain amounts ranging from EGP 65 to EGP 120—not less or more, even if the salary increased. The law will not impact the state budget but will not provide fair allowances.
MPs commented that this will impact advantages and incentives of the workers. Haitham El-Hariri commented that the article will provide unfair allowances and that he will submit a new law.
Mohamed Maeet, the deputy of finance minister, keeping Article 5 will reduce the problems on the state budget, as its cancellation will cost the ministry around EGP 18bn. Labour activist Wael Tawfik told Daily News Egypt that the government wants to save its budget even if the law will not grant fair allowances.
Only five members rejected the law, amid the approval from the majority