All public servants will receive an additional three-day recuperation leave. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made this announcement in his weekly statement.

Sogavare says 2020 has been a challenging year thus Cabinet has granted an additional 3.5-day recuperation leave to all public servants during this Christmas and New Year period. He says this is in recognition of their service in restricting COVID-19 inside isolation stations.

“These days are not public holidays. They do not apply to the private sector or SOEs. They only apply to public servants’, Sogavare says.

He says all Public Servants working with the National, Provincial and HCC Governments will receive the additional 3.5 days recuperation leave from midday Thursday 24th December 2020, through to the first working Monday in 2021, which is Monday 4th January 2021.

“The 3.5 days comprise half of Thursday 24th December 2020 and the 29th, 30th and 31st December 2020”, Sogavare says.

He says all Public Officers except those who have approved leave will resume duties on Monday 4th January 2021. He says most public service administrative offices will be closed during this period.

“Except for front-liners, or where specific agreements are already in place, any Public Servant required to work during this period will not draw overtime allowances, as the 3.5 recuperation leave days will be added to their annual leave entitlements”, the Prime Minister said.

In March, this year the government instructed public servants to take emergency leave after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Non-essential public servants were on full pay when on emergency leave earlier in the year. In addition, they were given a $2500 traveling assistance as a one-off payment, irrespective of their leave destinations.

Most of them were on emergency leave for a month.