Extra allowance for DM officials who read books
Employees of Dubai Municipality at a reading session in Al Ahmadiya School heritage museum. - Supplied photo
Dubai - Municipality aims at developing reading habit among senior staff.
As you read, you will be paid - It's the new policy that the Dubai Municipality has adopted to get senior officials of the civic body read books.
Supporting the national drive on the Year of Reading, the municipality has announced a "skill allowance" for the fourth category employees for reading books. Senior officials from heads of units and above fall under this category.
They can now receive up to 10 per cent of their salary as skill development allowance depending on the number of books they read and summarise under the initiative titled "What Did You Read?"
As per a circular issued in this regard, a copy of which is available with Khaleej Times, the municipality will provide 165 books to the officials to choose from for the first part of the project named Ktabk in Arabic (Your Book).
The summary of books read should be submitted as evidence in a 3-page Microsoft Word format or a 10-slide Power Point Presentation so that it is publishable on the municipality's knowledge gate, the circular stated. The employees have the freedom to keep the books, donate them or return them to the municipality.
In the second project of the initiative named Khalast w Lakhast (I finished.I summarised), employees can choose any book to read and have to share the summaries through the knowledge gate.
Meanwhile, the disbursement of skill allowance issued previously for the year 2015 will be stopped and all the staff who received the allowance should re-send their application by attaching the form for the reading criteria.
Director of Human Resources Department Khalid Abdul Rahim told Khaleej Times: "There are already various other criteria for giving skill development allowance such as high performance in appraisal, new educational qualifications, the suggestions they made adding value to our services etc. Now, reading will be added to those, in support of the Year of Reading initiative."
Let's choose the books
The municipality's move received mixed reaction from officials.
"In my opinion, I don't think many senior officials will like being instructed to read the books that have been suggested in the circular," said Huda Ozair Mubarak, Director of Knowledge Management Department.
"But when it is a rule, we will do it.I feel there should be more flexibility in choosing the books for reading, not just from the list provided by the municipality." However, Ismail Al Banna, Director of Corporate Marketing and Relations Department, said it was the right move to "push people to read when they don't do it by themselves. The choice of books has to be relevant to your work."
A senior official from the reading initiative team, who did not wish to be named, said the civic body was flexible with the choice of books by the employees, provided the team is convinced they are useful, non-fiction books.
"Every month we will provide them a new list of 50 more books.They will be eligible for the allowance as soon as the summary is verified by our team," he said.
The more you read the more you earn
> Dubai Municipality will provide 165 books to the officials.
> A minimum of one book has to be read and summarised by officials to be eligible to receive the allowance.
> Each book summary will earn a two per cent skill allowance, with a maximum allowance set at 10 per cent for reading and summarising five books.