Civil servants to begin working 40-hour week

Civil servants are to work longer hours after Public Administration Minister Dimitris Reppas approved a government decision to extend from 37.5 to 40 the number of hours in the working week of public employees.

Sources said that the bureaucrats have until Tuesday to decide their schedules. They are being offered the option of working from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 7.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 8.30 to 4.30 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The civil servants will be required to serve the public for six of these eight hours, apart from tax offices, where citizens? access will continue to be restricted to 5.5 hours.

The government, which is in the process of reducing the size of the public sector and will only be hiring one person for every 10 that leave the service, has said that the effect of extending civil servants? hours will be like hiring 45,000 new employees.

A law passed in May 1981 established the 37.5-hour working week for public servants.