The study examined the government and three campuses of a higher public education institution’s funeral policies with a view to determining how these policies explain employees’ equity perception. Three research questions guided the study: (1) what does the government’s funeral policy say about the burial of government employees and their dependents? (2) How has the government’s funeral policy been implemented in the three studied campuses of a public university? (3) What are the anticipated implications of the existing funeral policies for employees’ perception of equity? The study used a qualitative methodology based on a comparative case study design. Data were collected using documents and analyzed via qualitative content analysis. The findings revealed that the burial of deceased employees, their spouse and children is a public employees’ benefit, as per the government labour acts and standing orders, which highlights the government’s willingness to shoulder the costs of burial for every public servant. Yet, in practice, what transpired from the field is that burial benefits are largely funded by each employee’s monthly mandatory contribution, which is normally deducted from their salary. The findings further indicate that each of the studied campuses of the same university had its own arrangements regarding the amount of the contribution, the beneficiaries of the funds and the amount provided to cover the burial costs of the agreed beneficiaries. Hence, this resulted in variations in the provision of burial benefits among the employees serving in the same public organization. These variations may contribute to various employees’ perceptions, ranging from no inequity to much inequity for over-rewarded and under-rewarded employees respectively. The study recommends merging the three funeral policies from the three studied institutions into a single policy which adequately and equitably covers the funeral costs.
Key words: Employees’ benefits, employees’ motivation, employees’ equity, higher public education Institutions, Tanzania.
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