ECONOMY: Cyprus public sector overtime costs hit the roof

Fears of fiscal derailment grow as the cost of overtime work in the public sector reaches an all-time high since the country entered a restructuring programme as part of the bailout deal Cyprus signed with International lenders.

According to Ministry of Finance data obtained by Stockwatch, spending on overtime put in by public servants reached EUR 82.1 mln in 2018 (from EUR 74.7 mln in 2017), with most of it going to permanent staff.

Spending on public sector overtime in 2018 was the highest since 2013.

In total, from 2013 to 2018, public servants were paid EUR 403.2 mln for overtime work. The government’s cost for overtime dramatically dropped in 2014 (EUR 55.6 mln) and has been on the rise since 2015.

Public sector workers are paid overtime based on their pay scale, while employees on a scale higher than A13 are not paid any overtime as their salary is considered to be high enough.

The formula for overtime work in the public sector, introduced in 2012, provided for compensation based on normal working hours.

In February 2017, trade unions reached an agreement with the ministry to improve the formula for overtime work.

Each hour of overtime during weekdays is now paid out at a rate of 1.2 of a normal working hour, and on weekends the rate can reach up to 1.5.

On holidays, every hour of overtime is paid at a rate of 1.5, excluding hourly staff working with a shift system who see overtime being paid at 1.7.

Source: The Financial Mirror