PUTRAJAYA: All government offices will open half-an-hour earlier and close 30 minutes later from June.
However, civil servants will not be required to work longer hours. Instead, they will clock in for work at three different times – from 7.30am till 4.30pm, from 8am till 5pm, and from 8.30am till 5.30pm.
In effect, the offices will be open from 7.30am to 5.30pm.
The timetable is the same for those working in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, except that they will observe Friday and Saturday as the days off.
Public Service Department corporate communications unit chief Hasniah Rashid said the decision to implement the system nationwide was taken after it was found that staggered working hours had contributed to higher productivity among civil servants.
Currently, government offices in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya open from 7.30am to 5.30pm with a lunch break between 1pm and 2pm. On Fridays, the lunch break is between 12.15pm and 2.45pm.
Staggered working hours from 7.30am to 6.30pm were introduced 10 years ago in departments such as the National Registration and the Immigration Departments, to provide longer hours of service to the public.
About a year later, the working hours were revised to 5.30pm and implemented in government offices in Kuala Lumpur.
Cuepacs welcomed the plan but said the Government should consider problems faced by civil servants.
“For instance, staff whose houses are far from their offices, who have transportation problem or who have to rush their children to school or the babysitter in the morning should not be forced to work at 7.30am. They should be allowed to choose working hours suitable for them. Otherwise, it will be a torture for them,” Cuepacs president Omar Osman said.
He also expressed regret that Cuepacs was not briefed so that it could explain the matter to its 850,000 members.
MTUC president Syed Shahir Syed Mohd also said the welfare of civil servants should be taken into consideration.
“The staff should be comfortable with their working hours. If they face problems coming to work on time, the counter service will be affected. We should not compromise the quality of service,” he said.
Fomca secretary-general Mohd Shani Abdullah said the Government should create public awareness of the new working hours. It should also consider opening counters during lunch hour, he said.