Monday to Friday working days
The government has decided to implement the system of two days (Saturday and Sunday) holidays in a week effective from May 15, 2022.
The government has decided to give public holidays on Saturdays and Sundays two days a week from May 15, 2022.
According to the Spokesperson of the Nepal government and Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, as the government has decided to give public holidays every Saturday and Sunday two days in a week, now the office hours will also be changed starting from 09:30AM to 17:30 PM five days a week from Monday to Friday.
On the recommendation of the task force, the government has prepared to give leave two days a week.
However, this provision has been implemented as a trial and if its seems effective it goes onwards,” informed the Spokesperson Minister Karki.
At present, the employees are working 40 hours a week from 10 AM to 5 PM through Sunday to Thursday and from 10 AM to 3 PM on Friday.
The government also claims that even if two-day leave is given, the working hours of the employees will reach 40 hours per week.
As the government is going to give leave two days a week, the Ministry of Finance estimates that giving one more day of public holiday a week will save around 1.8 million rupees in fuel for a month.
However, this is not the first time that the government came to enforce two days off a week. About 23 years ago, in 1999 (2056 BS), it was implemented as two days holidays a week.
But it was very uncomfortable and unusual. This system of two days off did not last long.
After about six months, the government itself withdrew from the decision of two days a week leave provision, removing from 2059 BS.
Of course, employees are happy with the government’s decision.
The government had backtracked on its decision to grant leave two days a week after the public complained of hardship of receiving service from the various government organizations from the two days off a week.
Now, in a year of 365 days more than 156 days are public holidays.
With the government deciding to give leave on Sunday too, government offices will be open only for 210 days out of 365 days of the year. The weekly leave, which used to be 52 days a year, will now reach 104 days.
Apart from that, the government has also given holidays on different events including religions, communities’ events and some other memorial days.
Experts opined that it would not be practical to give two days leave in Nepal by increasing the daily office hours.
The flow of public services would be weakened after two days leave as there was no mechanism to monitor the performance of the employees, experts warned.
It would not be appropriate to increase the holidays only unless the government has made the service to the public efficiently, effectively through online or materially.
But, they expected, this decision may have a positive impact on the tourism sector and will increase economic activity and help to promote domestic tourism flow as it encourages the citizens for travel.
The government also cited that giving two days’ public leave would make it more productive and less expensive based on the budget estimates of the Fiscal Year 2077/78 would save NRs.1.64 billion savings in the consumption of fuel, electricity, water, sanitation, transportation etc.
It could be reduced by 16 to 20 per cent in two days off plan. Also elaborated that for staff, coming to the office six days a week to work 40 hours a week is unproductive.
It doesn’t make sense to come to the office six times, return six times, prepare for the office six times, and spend 12 hours commuting on the road.
Note here is that among the 192 UN member countries, 116 countries adopted two days leave in a week.