- A total of 1,809 government employees have applied to leave the public sector of Seychelles under a Voluntary Departure Scheme that aims at reducing public employment by 12 percent. The target has thus already been met.
This was informed by the principal secretary for Seychelles Public Administration, Jessie Esparon. She said the number surpassed the 1,760 representing 12 percent of the workforce, which government was hoping to trim the service by, following an urgent IMF-supported economic reform programme.
Mrs Esparon said by last week's deadline, there may have been up to 1,900 applications accepted by employers, adding the 1,809 was made up of 1,004 employees from government ministries and departments, 447 from parastatals and 358 who had applied to take early retirement.
The principal secretary said some organisations had also submitted the posts which they felt were no longer necessary and needed abolition. Their proposals would also be accepted, she said.
"Some organisations nevertheless felt they were too small and could not function efficiently if they shed the targeted 12 percent, but others had more which will make up for those who did not trim down further," Ms Esparon added.
Mrs Esparon said the applications had not yet reached the department of administration where they are expected by the end of this week, but she got the figures from the organisations which she had been in touch with.
She said she expected more people to apply for early retirement, raising the number from 358 to 500. She also said the early retirement for people aged between 55 and 59 had been extended until the end of 2009 to help the voluntary departure process.
"I am expecting more departures from ministries and departments as further restructuring is done," she said, adding it was not yet possible to tell how much compensation and gratuity payments would cost.
Mrs Esparon said although the payment was expected to be done in January 2009, processing would start next month and, if possible, payment would start in December.
The Voluntary Departure Scheme, which closed last week, was open to all Seychellois public sector employees. Applicants were choosing to get six months' salary or half a month's salary for each completed year of service, whichever was greater.
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