Tuesday, 29 January 2013 11:56(JollofNews) – The leader of the Gambia’s opposition National Reconciliation Party, Hamat Bah, has criticised the proposed changes to the country’s working days and hours.
Under the changes that are coming into force at the beginning of next month, the country's civil servants will work from Monday to Thursday from 8am to 6pm while Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be dedicated for prayers, social activities and agriculture.
The changes which were announced last week by the Office of the President were said to have been made after consultation with ministers and considerations to public demands.
Hamat Bah said the proposed changes to working hours will drastically reduce productivity in the country thereby seriously affecting the growth of the economy.
“My position is that I am totally opposed to the four-day working week, because it is very bad for our economy, which is a very small and weak economy,” Mr Bah told the independent Point Newspaper.
The former MP for Upper Saloum added: “All developing countries have one common objective towards economic development. What the shortening of working days and increasing the working hours brings is extreme pressure on workers. 10 hours working day “is not only exhaustive, but can make people extremely tired because they are being over-used, and at the end of the day produce nothing.”
“In the morning, most workers concentrate themselves on the internet and by the time they start getting into their normal work is 10 or 11am and by 3pm or 4pm, they are completely exhausted.”
Mr Bah further added: “In a country where there is virtually no public transport system, the pressure and burden of getting back home from work will be not only an extra cost but loss of time. This is so, because the current public transport network cannot cater for all the workers at that time of the rush hour.”
Written by PK Jarju
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