ECONOMY

Bolstering the civil service

Plans include performance bonus, solidarity levy abolition and private sector talent import

Bolstering the civil service

The government is preparing a three-pronged intervention in favor of civil servants: a bonus for those working in selected agencies, the abolition of the solidarity levy for them too, as of next year, and a new framework for attracting specialized officials from the private sector.

A senior source from the Finance Ministry explained the plan on Monday, saying that the interior minister is about to deliver his proposals concerning the new bonus system that will operate on a pilot basis from this year, using resources from the Next Generation EU fund.

According to the description included in the “Greece 2.0” blueprint, this pilot program is addressed to some 6,000 state employees, mainly in the technical agencies of local authorities, and its main idea is to reward them for achieving specific targets. The Finance Ministry source said on Monday that the funding from the NGEU will amount to some 10 million euros, but the Greek state could also contribute through budget resources if the system becomes permanent.

The case of the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) that has had to speed up the process of pension issues could be the example to follow in rewarding employees based on their performance.

The bonus, the same source added, could be handed out to two categories of civil servants: those who meet a specific target that is a government priority, and those who attain quantifiable targets on a permanent basis.

That system may concern a few thousand civil servants from 2023, but the abolition of the solidarity levy as of next year will concern all state workers: The expansion of the measure from the private to the public sector too, as well as the pensioners, will bear a cost of some 400 million euros, on top of the €800 million it already costs (being abolished in the private sector).

The government will also try to lure skilled workers away from the private sector, with the same source noting that the public sector can hardly match corporate payments – however, the bonus system might tempt some, he added.