• Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Constitutional Court blocks 30% supplemental pay for Ministry of Finance staff

Constitutional Court blocks 30% supplemental pay for Ministry of Finance staff

Skopje, 5 December 2023 (MIA) — The Constitutional Court has expressed doubt in the constitutionality of the current special rule which foresees 30% supplemental pay for employees in the Ministry of Finance, the Public Revenue Office, the Customs Administration, the State Foreign Exchange Inspectorate, the Public Procurement Bureau, the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, and the Financial Police Office, as listed in Parliament's authentic interpretation.


For this reason, the Constitutional Court at Tuesday's session started a procedure for evaluating the constitutionality of Article 66 Paragraph 3 and Paragraph 4 of the Law on Budgets.


As a result, the special rule on supplementation may be annulled and any bonuses paid may need to be given back, session participants said.


"The Court has assessed that the provision unfoundedly stipulates that a special group of employees should receive a certain amount expressed in percentages as payment for specific tasks and special responsibilities. Which means that this provision puts the employees included in the contested Article and the authentic interpretation in a position of privilege as opposed to all other budget users' staff, which raises doubt also regarding Article 9 Paragraph 2 of the Constitution, which says all citizens are equal before the Constitution and the laws," they added.


The Law on Budgets' Article 66 Paragraph 3, according to the Constitutional Court, contains legal terms that are unclear, incomprehensible, and not defined by any law, such as the term "supplementation," considering that the laws foresee salary allowances and not "supplementation," which is a vague category.


At the session, the Court issued a temporary ban on supplemental pay given under Article 66 Paragraph 3 until the final Constitutional Court ruling.


The motion to consider the constitutionality of the special rule was filed by citizen Miroslav Draganov from Skopje. He had said it was not clear which employees had the right to 30% supplementation; which jobs and special responsibilities they had to have; and how these positions were determined and who was to determine them. The legal provision left room for arbitrariness, he noted.


In its authentic interpretation, Draganov said, Parliament violated the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure, because while giving an authentic interpretation of Article 66 Paragraph 3 of the Law on Budgets, it amended the provision by introducing new elements, violating the procedure for passing laws. mr/

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