‘Flexible working hours to continue after Eid’

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Govt agencies eye 3-shift system or 9:30 am to 5 pm shift

KUWAIT CITY, April 16: The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has informed the Supreme Traffic Council that the flexible working hours system will continue to be applied after the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, provided that official working hours begin according to three time slots to be determined, reports Al- Qabas daily quoting informed sources.

They explained that several government agencies are studying the effectiveness of fl exible working hours and setting proposed working hours in order to achieve the optimal goal of its application. The government agencies are still seriously considering amending the official working hours for employees, either to implement the three-shift system for government sector workers, or to change the official working hours from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

The first vision aims to divide the employees into a morning shift from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, a second shift from 12 noon to 6:00 pm, and a third shift from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. During government consultations, an opinion focused on the need to increase flexibility in the timings of entry and exit to a better timing, offset by other opinions that increasing flexibility in timing may not be appropriate for all ministries. The sources affirmed that it is possible to manage the application of flexible hours for each ministry and destination according to the nature of its work, adding that flexible hours is one of the immediate and quick solutions to the problem of traffic congestion in Kuwait.

It is noteworthy that the Council of Ministers had assigned the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART), in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Electricity and Water, the Kuwait Municipality, and the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) to complete the necessary procedures to ensure the implementation of urgent, medium and long-term solutions that guarantee addressing the existing problem of traffic congestion in Sabah Al-Salem area, leading to the sustainability of the flow of roads to and from the area.

Representatives in the National Assembly had submitted several proposals in order to implement flexible working hours and remote work in government agencies with the aim of reducing traffic congestion and raising the productivity of citizens. The MPs believe that the presence of total and permanent flexibility in the working hours of employees will reduce tension and overcrowding and facilitate work in public facilities.

They stressed the need to formulate a comprehensive system that takes into account all functional and social aspects in order to motivate employees and productive work. The MPs affirmed that the fl exible hours system gives employees the freedom to organize their work lives to suit their personal needs, and employees can also enjoy easier and less expensive mobility during non-peak times. They highlighted the success of the application of the “flexible hour” system globally, as the number of women working based on this system in Britain reached 26.7 percent, and male workers at 17.7 percent, according to the National Statistics Office in 2003.

The MPs said, “This system allows public facilities to operate for a longer time by allowing the facilities to be opened early by employees who wish to do so in exchange for their early departure. It also allows it to continue for longer working hours through employees who wish to leave late in return for their late arrival to work». Many studies have shown that reducing daily working hours for employees may have more positive results by achieving higher productivity and improving service.

Many countries, including Qatar, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands and Russia, have issued decisions to reduce daily working hours or make the work week four days instead of five with the aim of promoting job efficiency and increasing employee productivity, and giving more fl exible options to employees in a manner that takes into account their needs and circumstances, especially family circumstances. This also allows women greater opportunities to achieve a balance between the needs and requirements of caring for their family and children on one hand, and work requirements on the other hand, and all of this in a way that does not affect the services provided to citizens and the entitlements of employees, or reduce their wages and promotions.

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