Employees should not forfeit their leave days

It has emerged that a number of civil servants prefer money to taking their annual leave. According to Members of Parliament, the habit has taken root in public service because of the monetary incentives that come with it.

It has emerged that a number of civil servants prefer money to taking their annual leave. According to Members of Parliament, the habit has taken root in public service because of the monetary incentives that come with it.

But this is taking a dangerous path as far as work productivity of such people (who trade leave for cash) is concerned. Every employee needs some time off after a long period of hard work. Employees also need that time allocated for annual leave to attend to their personal development and social issues that they might not have had time to look into during busy work schedules.

Above all, people’s bodies need to rejuvenate worn out tissues for one to continue working productively.

So, those government departments that were allowing employees to go year after year without taking time off work were endangering the workers’ wellbeing. Can such workers stay focused since they would most probably be exhausted, bored or stressed due to incessant work schedule?

And if civil servants get paid leave, why pay them extra to stay on? This practice is counterproductive and the MPs are right to outlaw it.

However, it is important to find the root causes of this practice and try to address them. Otherwise, simply criminalising without further action would not bear much fruit and could breed seeds of discontent.

If it is because of low pay, employees should be encouraged to start side businesses to supplement their monthly packages. Since most could be members of co-operative societies, getting start-up capital would not be a problem. And, where possible, employees’ salaries could be adjusted.

This would, in the long-run, easily ensure a happier, healthy and more productive workforce.

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