Government study

Monthly average pay for civil servants €8,688

Some ministries or departments offer less bonuses than others, leading to stagnation within the government. Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

Some ministries or departments offer less bonuses than others, leading to stagnation within the government. Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

Due to a lack of overview and transparence on the plethora of bonuses civil servants earn in addition to their monthly salary, the civil service ministry conducted a survey across all state departments, releasing the report on 23 November.

The study came from an observation that “while staff in certain careers or ministries receive little more than the allowances common to the whole of the civil service, others benefit from much more advantageous schemes where allowances can represent a high proportion of the main remuneration,” the ministry explained.

The government employs 31,049 agents, of which 62.1% are civil servants, 28.5% employees and 8% salaried workers. Civil servants--as of 31 December 2021--earned €8,688 a month, including end-of-year bonuses but excluding any other type of premium. Employees have an average salary of €6,742 while salaried workers earn about €3,987 a month.

In addition to this, all public servants and employees receive a monthly meal allowance of €204, while more than half also get children benefits, which mainly follow the ‘old diet’ of 8.1% of the agent’s basic income.

Disparity among departments

In total, the study counts 232 bonuses and benefits that can be attributed to the employees--like bonuses linked to responsibilities within a department. 62% of all agents are attributed at least one such allowance.

However, even among different governmental departments, disparities exist: “The staff of ten or so administrations benefit from more than 70% of the volume of accessories paid,” said the civil service ministry in a statement. The police, primary and post-primary education agents and the public roads administration are the most important beneficiaries.

“The disparity of the compensation schemes established over time is also a major obstacle to the mobility of state employees, who are reluctant to change their post if it means losing a salary,” the study said.

Some bonuses to be abolished

The total expenditure on ancillary remuneration for civil servants amounts to €149m for 2021, including all bonuses and allowances, according to the report, a continuous growth compared to 2015 (€105.3m).

Following these results, some allowances have already been reviewed or are set to be abolished, the study concludes, adding that the situation was “very complex and not at all transparent.”

During an interview on 100.7 on 21 November, the president of the civil servant union (CGFP) Romain Wolff confirmed the union would ask for the value of salary points (on which salaries are calculated for different wage categories) to be increased. He did not disclose by how much.