NEWS

Civil servants will have to work 40 hours a week

Public servants will have to work 40 hours a week as part of the government?s reforms, according to Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis, who believes that the longer hours will help make up for the staff and spending cutbacks in the sector.

Ragousis told Sunday?s Kathimerini in an interview that the extension of bureaucrats? working week by 2.5 hours would be the equivalent of hiring 45,000 new employees in the public sector.

?The 40-hour working week in the public sector is very important for the service we provide to citizens and for the economy — it is equal to hiring 45,000 people — especially at this difficult time for the country,? he said.

?I remind people that the 37.5-hour week was established in May 1981 but was never extended to the private sector,? added Ragousis. ?We should not forget that private employees work at least 40 hours a week without the security of having a job for life.?

The minister did not clarify when the new regulation would be implemented. The government has said it will only hire one public servant for every five that leave but it is thought that this figure might be raised to seven.