KUWAIT: Kuwait's government is carrying out a study to change official working hours in the public sector to start at 9:30 am and end at 5:00 pm, a local daily reported yesterday quoting official sources. Among the positive aspects that changing the public sector's working hours would bring is having them become similar hours to the working hours in the private sector. This would therefore encourage young Kuwaiti jobseekers to look for jobs in the private sector, the sources speculated.

"Concerned authorities are finalizing an evaluation study to be presented to the Civil Service Council, then to the Cabinet if approved," said the sources who spoke to Al-Qabas Arabic daily on the condition of anonymity. According to the sources, the study is currently focusing on finding out "the best suitable means" to change working hours in order to achieve more flexibility, efficiency, and productivity, while taking requirements of state departments and the public into consideration."

In addition to changing working hours from the current 7:30 am - 2:00 pm system, the study also proposes a one-hour rest period in the early afternoon, which would allow parents to collect their children from school if they want to, for example. The sources further explained that the study is taking into consideration the social aspects affecting employees, particularly parents.

For example, the study reiterates a recommendation to create nurseries in each state department where employees can put their children during working hours. The report does not mention a timetable for when the government could approve the study.