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flexible hours to stay after Ramadan

KUWAIT: The Civil Service Council is meeting Wednesday to discuss what flexible working hours for the public sector will look like outside Ramadan, sources told Kuwait Times. Talks of a flexible working system have been on the table since at least December 2022, when the council of ministers reportedly asked ministries to prepare studies looking at the feasibility of applying such a system.

The government had justified the system by claiming it would address the traffic jams suffocating the country during rush hour. The system went live for a trial period in Ramadan, with the Civil Service Commission deciding that the daily hours for government sector employees would come to a total of four and a half hours during the month. The commission provided a list of start and end times for government entities to choose from based on their nature of work: 9:45am till 2:15pm, 10:15am till 2:45pm and 10:45am till 3:15pm.

Despite initial enthusiasm for the system, it was met with public ire when implemented, with many people calling it “pointless”. Traffic jams showed no signs of easing, meaning that the system didn’t serve its intended purpose. Officials seem to be looking to learn from the Ramadan experience. Sources told Kuwait Times that several senior officials with the interior ministry and the Civil Service Commission met earlier this week to determine what could be done to mitigate the cracks in the system revealed by the trial period. The Civil Service Commission will make the new changes public after they’re agreed upon, said sources.

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