Kathmandu, June 23
The government has decided to provide special hazard allowance to employees and technicians working in state-owned laboratories.
Employees working in laboratories will be entitled to an allowance not exceeding 25 per cent of their monthly remuneration.
According to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, the Council of Ministers had recently made a decision to this effect after employees of state-owned laboratories voiced their concern about the government’s move to scrap all allowances except dearness and dress, as per its austerity measure in public expenditures.
The Ministry of Health and Population had tabled the proposal of providing special hazard allowance to lab employees at the Cabinet meeting held on April 30.
Employees at Teku-based National Public Health Laboratory and other state-owned laboratories had been demanding that they be provided with the hazard allowance given the nature of their work.
A circular issued by the MoFAGA to all local levels today has requested them to follow the Cabinet decision. The MoFAGA said the hazard allowance for lab employees would be borne by the concerned office from its annual budget.
Earlier, the government had issued Laboratory Hazards Allowance Management Guideline-2015, to protect the right and interest of government employees who operate various scientific equipment in a lab as part of research and experimental activities and are vulnerable to hazardous chemicals or radioactive materials and viruses.
The guideline has stipulated a provision of a seven member Hazards Allowance Fixation Committee headed by a secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
The committee will conduct risk assessment of various labs in government agencies and fix the allowance based on the risk level.
If the lab technicians and employees are on a leave or are deputed to other government offices for consecutive three months, they will not be entitled to the allowance for that period as per the guideline.
Any employee undergoing training for more than a month at a time will be eligible to enjoy the allowance of that period.
Lab technicians and employees will have to get their health checked once a year and the expenses incurred will be borne by the government.
In case of the need for medical treatment of staffers due to the adverse effects of chemicals and radioactive materials, while working in a lab, the government will extend all necessary support to the concerned employees.
A version of this article appears in print on June 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.