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Cabinet amends legislative provisions on 13th month pay |15 September 2023

Cabinet amends legislative provisions on 13th month pay

Vice-President Afif during the press briefing

Cabinet has approved new amendments to the legislative provisions on 13th month pay under the Employment Act (Cap 69) for the years 2023 to 2025.

Under the new provision, people leaving their job before December 31, will be paid their 13th month salary based on the months employed during that year.

The amendment was approved at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, chaired by President Wavel Ramkalawan, in which a number of other legal and policy memoranda were approved.

In a press briefing yesterday morning at State house, Vice-President Ahmed Afif explained that all those people who may have left before December 31 of that year in question would be entitled the 13th month salary and the sum will be calculated on a proportional basis.

He noted that currently, people who left before December 31 of that year were not entitled a 13th month payment.

He stated this was unfair when compared to those who might have started working late during the year, and served the same amount of time.

“We feel this is an unfairness because those who may have started late during the year as an employee, confirmed in post and now still in post as of 31, would get a part of the 13th month pay. Whereas somebody who may have served the same period but left earlier was not entitled. So the law will be changed to reflect that everyone who has worked satisfactorily during the period should be entitled exactly the same as another one who has worked for less than a year but was there on the 31st”, Vice-President Afif explained.

Another change relates to those who are entitled a 13th month payment. Presently the limit is set for employees earning up to R45,450, and this is tax free.

However, Mr Afif said this was unjust to those who worked hard during the year and got promoted, as well as a raise in their salary.

“For example if a person has worked hard, is promoted and the salary goes above the limit, say up to R46,000, under the current provision the person would not earn the 13th month salary. What the law is proposing is above the limit, you would also be entitled a 13th month salary but the tax benefits will be applicable only on the R45,450. Anything above will be taxable,” explained Mr Afif, adding that the payment would also be at the discretion of the organisation.            

It should be noted that payment of the 13th month salary will be based on the performance-based approach as from 2026.

During yesterday’s meeting, cabinet also approved new measures to manage and curtail the practice of importation of commercial goods through the Passenger Arrival Terminal instead of through the designated Airport Cargo Terminal facility.

This followed concerns raised over the impact of this practice on border control management and the resulting direct and indirect security risks.

The importation of commercial goods through passenger arrival terminal is also causing congestion at the airport and additional costs to transport commercial goods from the airport to other facilities under Customs control for processing. Extra personal luggage deemed as commercial cargo will be transferred to the cargo section for clearance later.

Vice-President Afif said they have noticed a lot of congestion at the airport terminal in particular, when arriving passengers are trying to clear their cargo, which is not personal cargo, but commercial cargo through the passenger terminal. This causes delays to different flights and passengers because of the high volume of luggage that comes through, which the airport was not designed to handle at the passenger terminal.

“What custom is proposing is a service with an operator, such as Air Seychelles, where as soon as they observe a large number of bags, deemed as commercial cargo, for a specific person, they will segregate them, at a fee of course, and they will be transferred to the cargo terminal where they could be cleared under normal procedures the following day,” explained Vice- President Afif.

The date the new measures will take effect will be announced shortly.


Patrick Joubert/press release from State House

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