The new office hours introduced by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will improve services to the public.
The new opening and closing hours, which started last month, start from 7:30am to 4:30pm, including a 30-minute lunch break. However, opening and closing hours for serving clients will be from 8am to 4pm.
Home Affairs Director-General, Mkuseli Apleni, said the DHA consulted with organised labour before making the decision to change the hours.
There are now two shifts, the first starts at 7:30am and ends at 4pm. The second shift starts at 9am and ends at 4:30pm. Both shifts include a 30-minute lunch break.
Apleni said the new opening and closing hours would benefit the department’s clients, managers, staff members and the organisation as a whole.
“Importantly, the new opening and closing hours will afford managers and staff sufficient time to interact with each other on service delivery matters and front office operations,” he said.
Apleni said with the new opening and closing hours, staff members still work a 40-hour week spread over six days, Monday to Saturday, and work only two Saturdays a month.
Staff members on the 7:30am to 4pm shift work a 40-hour week from Monday to Friday. Those on the 9am to 4:30pm shift work 35 hours from Monday to Friday and five hours on a Saturday.
The Saturday shift starts at 8am and ends at 1pm for staff members, and from 8:30am to 12:30pm for service to members of the public.
Apleni said staff members alternate between the two shifts, so that there can be some flexibility with regard to the Saturday shift.