Business

Japan's civil servants get nod for sixth consecutive wage hike

JIJI

The National Personnel Authority has advised the Cabinet and Diet to raise salaries and bonuses for national government employees in fiscal 2019. It will be the sixth consecutive pay hike for civil servants.

The agency on Wednesday called for raising monthly salaries by an average of ¥387, or 0.09 percent, and annual bonuses by 0.05 of a month’s salary to a total of 4.50 months.

This means government officials will get an average raise of ¥27,000. The move is likely to affect the pay of municipal and other government workers as well.

The raises are necessary to close the income gap with private-sector workers, the agency said.

The proposed monthly salary hike, however, is smaller than the ¥655 rise recommended for fiscal 2018. This reflects a slowdown in private-sector wage hikes.

Under the recommendations, basic salaries will be raised for workers in their mid-30s and younger but will be left unchanged for other employees. For bonuses, the merit-based portion will be raised.

The agency also called for reviewing housing allowances for government employees living in rented houses.

It recommended raising the lower limit for monthly rent subject to such aid by ¥4,000 to ¥16,000, and decreasing the allowances for workers paying rent of less than ¥59,000. The maximum level of allowances will be boosted by ¥1,000 to ¥28,000 to increase benefits for people on low incomes.

In the meantime, the agency also sought to grant part-time workers paid summer leave separate from their regular paid leave.

The agency reiterated its proposal that the retirement age for government employees be lifted to 65, in stages.

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