Working hours increased
President Yahya Jammeh has used his executive powers to change the official working days and hours of The Gambia from five to four in a week and increased working hours from 8 to 10.
A news release by the state television, GRTS, on Friday night stated that with effect from February 1, 2013 official working days in The Gambia will be reduced from five to four, Monday through Thursday, and working hours will increase from eight to ten; that is from 8am to 6pm.
Presently, official working days in the country are from Monday to Friday, and hours from 8am to 4pm for Monday through Thursday, and 8am to 12.30am for Friday.
When effected, The Gambia will be among countries in the world with a mandatory four-day working week.
As a result, the country will be shutting down for a whole day while most parts of the world continue in active business and financial transactions.
However, the Office of the President has particularly singled out that banks in the country can operate on Saturdays to compensate them for the lost Fridays they will not be working.
Well, as it is now, banks in the country operate from Monday to Saturday.
The reason advanced by the Office of the President for this sudden move is that when the changes are effected, Friday will be a rest day for people of The Gambia and for Muslims to worship Allah.
The new schedule will also allow people of the country to have more time to do their agricultural work as part of President Jammeh’s call for Gambians to go back to the land to ‘grow what you eat and eat what you grow’.
Utah, one of the states in America, in recent past experimented a four-day workweek but it was later abandoned because it was not saving as much money as hoped for and that residents were complaining about not having access to services on Fridays.