Governance COVID-19 Response: Managing the Public Sector Wage Bill During COVID-19   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Summary: "The COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] crisis is unique and requires tough policy choices for managing the public sector wage bill to best achieve the difficult balance between fiscal consolidation, protection of lives and livelihoods, service delivery, and job restoration. In the emergency phase, the priority should be on protecting lives and livelihoods. Vital services will need to be scaled up by increasing staffing for essential functions and providing adequate compensation for frontline workers who are taking considerable risks. Given that the public sector is a large, generally well-paying formal sector employer, the wage bill can be an effective safety net for households to complement the various business and citizen support schemes that many governments have implemented. Attempts to generate sufficient savings to finance private transfers through cuts to the public sector wage bill would need to include staffing or wage reductions for teachers, police, and other essential workers who make up the bulk of the public sector. These reductions can be socially disruptive and politically unpopular."

World Bank Group
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