The government of Afghanistan has communicated to the office of National Assembly of Afghanistan a plan that envisions two days off a week.
This plan, which foresees Friday and Saturday as official holidays, has already been approved by the Council of Ministers in a cabinet meeting.
As per the plan, 40 hours work in five days has been envisioned. It has been received with mixed reactions. Most believe it’s a lot of faults on technical view while others believe it’s both unnecessary and unaffordable for a poor, reconstructing nation like Afghanistan.
The Deputy Speaker of lower house of the parliament, Mirwais Yasini, for example, is very critical of the view. He believes the plan has some serious faults to be addressed first.
Normally government employees start reaching offices at 8:00 a.m and start leaving the office at 2:00 p.m.
The plan has brought forth many unanswered questions too. In a country where it isn’t possible for bosses (at least in public sector) to use manpower effectively six days a week, how can they manage them to work with absolute honesty for five days and enjoy the other two days off?
Some even think on religious grounds. They question the religious position of such a holiday by asking, “What do the Ulema say about it? Does Islam really allow another day off in addition to Friday?”
This is the first time such a plan has been introduced to the parliament for legislation. Currently Afghan public sector institutions work six days a week with target 40 hours of work a week. While under new plan, the employees will be required to attend offices from 8:00am-4:00pm thus equaling 40 hours of work a week with two days off.
The private sector in Afghanistan already follows the new scheme of holidays i.e., they work 40 hours a week in five days and have two days off.
The issue has been discussed intensively in the past on the grounds that holidays of the public sector not coinciding with the private sector has created work problem for both the sectors.
Now, this plan is expected to receive challenges particularly if the religious circle calls it a copy of the west and opposes it in its totality.