Critical allowance for new govt staff no longer relevant, says JPA

New government doctors starting work next year would not receive the RM750 in critical allowance. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Public Service Department (JPA) which oversees the civil service said the decision to stop paying the critical service allowance was taken after a careful review mandated by the Government Remuneration System (SSB) introduced in 1992.

It said critical allowance is designed to be needs-based and not permanent, and is subject to revisions every five years, adding that the last review was done 12 years ago.

JPA said based on a review this year, it was decided that all 33 public sector services “no longer fulfill the criteria for the incentives”.

“As such, from Jan 1, 2020, all new civil service appointees will no longer receive the critical allowance,” it said, adding that current recipients will continue getting the allowance.

The decision would affect government doctors, nurses, engineers and other professionals joining the civil service next year.

JPA said the allowance which was initiated in 1992 was based on several factors including a sector’s supply and demand.

“This means a service can be deemed critical (shortage of workers) or otherwise,” it added.

Under the current scheme, government doctors receive a monthly critical allowance of RM750.

“Critical service allowance is an additional remuneration given to civil servants who provide
services of dire need for the nation,” the Malaysian Medics International, which brings together Malaysian medical students, said when contacted by FMT.

“For the healthcare sector, currently, this allowance is being given to doctors, nurses, and dentists, to name a few,” said MMI chairman Dr Vikkineshwaran Siva Subramaniam, who said the decision would rattle medical graduates about to start their career in the public sector.

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Currently, a house officer in the UD41 salary scale receives RM2,947 monthly with RM300 and a flexi allowance of RM600.

“With the critical allowance, the total is RM5,197. Now, it will be short of RM750,” said Vikkineshwaran.

He said while critical allowance is not permanent, the government could make up by increasing doctor’s basic salary.


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