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North to ditch seasonal public sector working hour discrepancies

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Public sector workers in the north are set to work the same hours all year round, after a bill was unanimously passed in ‘parliament’ on Friday.

Pending assent from Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, the laws stipulate that all public sector workers will commence a regular 39-hour work week from September 18 onwards.

On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, public sector workers will be required to work from 8am until 3.30pm. On Thursdays, they will work from 8am until 12.30pm and then return to work from 1pm until 5.30pm.

The law will apply to all civil servants in ‘government’ offices, regular employees of public broadcaster Bayrak, the religious affairs department, and the civil defence organisation.

Deputy chair of the north’s ‘parliamentary’ administrative and public affairs committee, Filiz Besim, said the steps should be taken “for quality, efficiency, and merit in the public sector”, but said that legislation alone cannot achieve this.

At present, public-sector workers in the north work 35-hour weeks in the summer and 40-hour weeks in the winter.

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