Government introduces new allowance for frontline workers

Health professionals engage in a COVID-19 preparedness drill in Maldives on March 25, 2020. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, on Thursday, announced the decision to pay a daily allowance within the range of MVR 200 to MVR 500 to workers in the frontline of the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Maldives.

Ameer made the announcement in an appearance alongside Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail for a press briefing at the National Emergency Operations Center.

Ameer said the frontline allowance would be paid based on three categories; high risk, medium risk and low risk.

Frontline workers engaged in high risk tasks will be paid a daily allowance of MVR 500, while workers engaged in medium risk tasks will receive MVR 250, and workers engaged in low risk tasks will receive MVR 200.

Ameer said that political appointees, workers in and above deputy minister level, and workers already receive an allowance for the frontline work will not be eligible for the new allowance.

While the government has now imposed further cuts on the salary of government workers, Ameer said the cuts will not affect workers at Health Protection Agency (HPA) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).