The official working hours for the public servants has been changed to 8am to 12pm in the morning and 1pm to 5pm in the afternoon.
Since Saturday 18 March 2017, by the power vested by the Constitution and the Public Service Act to the Public Service Commission concerning the official government working hours, the Commission made a decision to amend the working hours of public servants.
Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Martin Mahe, informed Daily Post yesterday that a letter of instruction has been issued to all Director Generals, Directors hence all public servants are expected to notified of the changes.
The original working hours is from 7:30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4:30pm.
During the extra ordinary meeting that took place last Saturday the particular part of the Public Service Staff Manual (PSSM) that was amended was Section 3 subsection 3.1 (b).
“The amendments shall be effective from the date of the of the Commission’s decision,” Mr Mahe stated in his letter of instruction issued yesterday.
“Each Ministry and or Agency is required to comply with this decision,” he added.
Mahe explained the reason behind the change saying it is based on random punctuality checks carried out by the Public Service last year.
“This year the Public Service also conducted three other random checks in Government ministries and departments and discovered that 51% of public servants are not punctual.
“They turn up at work more around 8 O’clock.
“Therefore the Office of the Public Service worked closely with the Statistics Office and found out that the common reason for public servants’ lateness is the issue of traffic jams.
“Due to the terms and conditions of the Public Service as an employer, we also take into consideration that most of the public servants are parents.
“Every morning they have to rush to drop their children off in schools around 7:30am and by the time they reach work they are already late.
“This is why the Public Service had not been strict about enforcing the regulation of punctuality last year because we took time to assess and analyze the situation before making this adjustment.”
Mahe stressed that the change doesn’t mean that public servants can still turn up 30 minutes late cause they will be expected in the office 8am sharp.
“The Commission will make sure to enforce this new regulation across the board in all Ministries and Departments as far as taking disciplinary action if a public servant fails to comply.”
He stressed that the change is essential because the 30 minutes that a public servant wasted by going late to work is not productive for the government.
Therefore that unproductive 30 minutes of 7.30am to 8am is now shifted to 4.30pm to 5pm.
Meanwhile the minimum cost of public servants turning up late to work is around Vt 26 million annually, the Public Service revealed.
But Mahe stressed that the change is more productivity-wise.
“The people have a high expectation in terms of service delivery, if we have 8 hours daily to deliver, then 8 minutes is already lost when public servants turn up late in the morning.
“This is the first time ever that the working hours for public servants have change but falls in line with the launching of the performance management system.”
Mr Mahe added that the enforcement of change will be very strict because the Public Service will ensure that public servants must uphold the principles, values that PSC defended through the Public Service Staff manual, the Public Service Act, and the Constitution.