CAIRO - 20 April 2018: A number of parliamentarians seek to pass a new draft law that sets a minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of janitors, and provides them with health insurance and a monthly pension.
Mohamed Al-Husseini, deputy head of the Local Government and Public Organizations committee, said that he started preparing a draft law that requires the state to have full information about janitors in order to be able to grant them their rights.
In an interview with Egypt Today, Husseini said that janitors are not provided with any insurance, adding that it is illogical that families of the janitors who have worked for many years in the profession find no income source following the death of their breadwinners.
The awaited draft law urges the necessity of providing a janitor a place of residence so that his children can register for schools based on the address on their father’s national ID, Husseini said without explaining which party shall grant a janitor such right according to the draft law.
The law aims at linking janitors with officials who can defend them in case they face any problems, Husseini explained, adding that a janitor would still get his salary from the private building owner, but would hand part of his salary to specialized insurance companies to secure himself a pension and health insurance.
Janitors, according to the awaited draft law would be contract workers and would have to obtain a license in order to be able to practice the profession. Husseini said that he hopes a syndicate for janitors will be formed one day.
When asked if the law would impose any charges on janitors in return, Husseini said that the law aims at protecting janitors and not collecting taxes from them, adding that the rights of janitors have been wasted for years.
FILE: MP Elahmi Agina
In an interview with Egypt Today, MP Elhamy Agina said that a janitor should be paid a salary of not less than LE 1,200 (about $68) that is set by the government as the minimum salary for workers, without imposing a wage ceiling on them.
Mohamed Shahat, a youth who came from Beni Suef to work as a janitor in one of Ain Shams district’s buildings, said that he has four children while his salary is only about LE 500 ($28), adding that his family’s expenses amount to some EGP 5,000 (about $283).
Shahat said that he and his family are packed in a 2.5 by three meter room, adding that his profession does not only include securing the building, but also cleaning cars, sweeping apartments’ floors, washing carpets, and doing the grocery shopping for residents, which can boost his income to some EGP 1,500 (about $85).
Shahat said that he faced a problem when registering his children at school, because he was required to prove that he lives in the district.
The Parliament is also discussing a new law to regulate valets' work and prevent acts of bullying.
Major General Medhat Qoreitem, former assistant minister of interior for specialized police, said that the new draft law will regulate and license the work of valets and prevent chaos currently witnessed in Egyptian streets.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has shown care for temporary and seasonal workers, urging the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, and the Ministry of Housing to obligate the companies working with them to provide their temporary employees with insurance.
At the beginning of March, President Sisi ordered the completion of an insurance policy for temporary and seasonal workers within 15 days.
FILE: Casual workers holding their Aman certificates
In response to Sisi's directions, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced the introduction of the Aman Certificate (Security Certificate), a new life insurance plan for casual and temporary workers.
Ismail clarified that the Aman Certificate’s monthly installment starts from LE 4, and its highest monthly installment is LE 20, with a benefit period of five years or 10 years.
On Feb. 8, President Sisi ordered the Egyptian government to protect seasonal labors’ rights and to search for alternatives that provide them with health insurance, clarifying that Egypt will pass a law for seasonal labor according to their needs.
FILE: Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal
The parliament approved Monday the second article of Law 100, which sets the net salary for the parliament speaker and the prime minister to be equivalent to the wage ceiling, which is LE 42,000 ($2,376).
A deputy prime minister and a deputy governor, according to the third article of Law100 approved by the parliament, will take a net salary that is equal to 90 percent of the maximum salary (LD 37,800 or $2,138).
The pensions of the previously mentioned officials will be 80 percent of the maximum salary, according to the law. This means that the parliament speaker will have a pension of LE 33,600 ($1,900).