Devolved Federal Ministries contract employees can lose jobs

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Islamabad (May 18, 2011) – Contractual employees of federal ministries, to be devolved till June 30, may lose their jobs on expiry of their contracts as the upcoming amendment in the Civil Servants Act 1973 provides them with no job security, sources said here on Wednesday.
Sources pointed out that the draft of the amendment only focuses on regular employees and gives no guarantee or surety of jobs to contractual employees. “It is not clear what will happen to them when their contracts get expired at different points of time in future,” they added.
Sources said that under the new amendment to be passed by the parliament, regular federal government employees of the devolved ministries would be shifted to provinces. The terms and conditions of their employment would not be changed and their seniority would not be affected and provinces would be bound to implement it in letter and spirit.
“Employees working in any federal ministry, which is being abolished, who are not taken in by the provincial government, will be accommodated in due course of time in other ministries and divisions. No regular employee will be retrenched or laid off,” sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani announced that all federal government employees of the ministries to be devolved would be given job security and it was earlier decided to pass a resolution in a joint session of the parliament. But later the Establishment Division was entrusted with the task to prepare draft of an amendment to provide legal cover to federal government employees through legislation.
When the issue of contractual employees was taken up by the Implementation Commission, the chief secretaries of the four provinces talked about their constraints and lack of funds to accommodate contractual employees of five ministries, including education, social welfare and special education, livestock and culture and tourism.
They demanded extension in the deadline of June 30 for devolution of these five and other ministries because provinces did not have enough resources to accommodate employees and the centre must give them the budget of current year as well as for next two years. However Implementation Commission Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani was of the view that an amendment in the constitution would be needed to extend the deadline given to the ministries and there was no need to do this and the devolution process must be completed by June 30 under any circumstances.
Establishment Division Secretary Abdur Rauf Chaudhry confirmed that the draft of the amendment does not deal with the question about what would happen with the contractual employees after expiry of their contracts. He said: “We are focusing on job security of regular employees after devolution and it is up to the relevant departments to decide about the future of contractual employees.”
(published in “TheNews” on Thursday, May 19, 2011)

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