By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, November 26, 2012
The new circular issued by the head of government, Mr. Abdelilah Benkirane, which intended initially to curb the detrimental effect of absenteeism on the productivity in public administration, raised concerns among trade unions.
The union leaders are more apprehensive about the underpinnings of this measure that is susceptible to abrogate the employees’ legitimate right to go on strike.
According to the Moroccan daily Akhar Al Yawm, the circular stipulates that any type of absence constitutes a transgression of the employees’ commitment to work. It also outlines the procedures to be enforced in case of absence, including penalties and wage deduction.
Abderrahmane Azzouzi, the secretary general of the Democratic Federation of Labor told the daily Moroccan Akhbar Al Yawm that strikers are more likely to be targeted by the current measures, taking into consideration the current context.
He added that this circular is “an attempt to intimidate” employees to push them to relinquish their legitimate right to go on strike.
In order to enforce sanctions against frequent absenteeism, the circular puts forward a set of procedures to control the levels of absenteeism in public administrations, using technological devices that measure absenteeism on a daily basis.
These new devices can inform the ministry about the number of hours missed during the work day. Subsequently, a written inquiry is sent to the absent employees, in addition to a deduction of the missed days from their salaries.
This new technology will make it possible for the government to compile the list of public servant who attend their jobs regularly and contrast it with the general list of officially appointed employees. This new strategy is likely to expose “ghost employees”, a segment of fraudulent public servants who do rarely attend their jobs while receiving their full wages.
Public servants who have a high record of absenteeism will see their wages reduced or totally suppressed. To ensure the consistency of these measures, the government created a special unit within the Central Department of Human Resources in charge of evaluating the effectiveness of this new strategy.