PM pledges regularization path for contract employees


Prime Minister (PM) Tshering Tobgay assured to address the ongoing concerns about contract employee regularization, a key pledge of his administration.

The Member of Parliament (MP) Sangay Thinley from Khar-Yurung Constituency raised the issue, highlighting anxieties among contract employees about service duration and job security under the proposed “para-regular” status.

The PM acknowledged the vital role all civil servants play, regardless of employment category, and emphasized his commitment to regularizing their service. He clarified that while regularization authority rests with the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), his government has actively pursued discussions to find a solution.

“I have been consistently concerned with the service conditions of employees on contract, the Elementary Service Personnel ESP), and the General Service Personnel (GSP),” the Prime Minister stated. “I have always aspired to regularize their service and not leave it based on a contractual service. Similarly, I have also pledged to regularize the services of those on contract, ESP and GSP.”

The Prime Minister further elaborated on the current challenges of the contract system. He highlighted the disparity in service length for some contract employees, with certain educators exceeding 15 years under contract.

“The trouble with tenure-based contract employment is that with their service tenures limited to three years, it hampers not only the employee in terms of uncertainty of service continuity, performance on the job, but the institution where they are serving,” he said.

PM also cited an example of assistant research officers, some serving over eight years on contracts with limited benefits compared to regular civil servants. This lack of job security and benefits, he argued, hinders career progression and access to loans.

The Prime Minister addressed the proposed “para-regular” status suggested by the RCSC. He explained the intent behind the new nomenclature and the proposed extension of contract tenure to five years.

However, he emphasized ongoing discussions with the RCSC to further improve service benefits for para-regular employees, particularly access to provident funds and pensions.

“The government is taking up this and other similar issues like entitlement to the Provident Fund and Pension with RCSC so that our para-regular employees also get loans. The matter is currently under discussion with the RCSC,” he said.

The PM further addressed the situation of ESP and GSP personnel. He highlighted the dedication and long service of some ESP staff, like Dorji Wangmo, who has served in her office for 16 years.

“So to say that such services must be tenure-based for up to 3 years is very inconvenient. Their services are indispensable,” he stated.

While acknowledging their current benefits like provident funds and pensions, the Prime Minister emphasized his commitment to seeking regularization for ESP and GSP personnel as well.

The MP from Khar-Yurung Constituency expressed the concerns of contract employees regarding the lack of a concrete discussion and the ambiguity of “para-regular” status.

However, without any concrete decision on this matter, contract employees are concerned about the duration of their contracts and the job security of para-regular employees. He asked if the government could provide an update on the status of the contract regularization.

The Prime Minister responded by reiterating his government’s commitment to finding a solution. He assured continued discussions with the RCSC to explore all options and establish appropriate service conditions for the contract, ESP, and GSP employees.

“The government is in the process of discussing these issues with RCSC and will try to get the most appropriate option for the ESP and GSP, to regularize their services. Likewise, we will explore all other options and find an appropriate service condition for our employees currently serving as contract employees (ESP and GSP),” the PM concluded.

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