Bank Employees protest against PM Shehbaz’s decision on increased working hours, working Saturdays

On Tuesday, the newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered a single weekly off for public departments.

Bank Employees protest

On Friday, bank employees staged a demonstration in front of the State Bank of Pakistan’s head office, insisting that the government and the regulator revert to old timings.

A number of employees representing different banks thronged the II Chundrigar Road, the ‘Wall Street’ of Pakistan, expressing their displeasure at the recent announcement.

Speaking to a source, a credit analyst, Rizvi, informed that protests were called through social media.

“We want the government to revert this decision,” said Rizvi, continuing that similar rallies were carried out in Lahore and Hyderabad.

On Tuesday, the newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered a single weekly off for public departments.

Following the federal government’s order, the SBP also increased its working days from five to six a week while changing its office and business timings for Ramazan.

“According to federal government decision on the 12th of April 2022, the central bank will observe six days working week,” read a notification.

During Ramazan, the SBP will observe office hours from 8 am to 3 pm from Monday to Thursday and Saturday, while office timings for Friday will be 8 am to 1 pm.

Rizvi, a key organizer of the protest, added that the banking profession is “already a hectic job, with unrealistic targets.”

“With this decision, very little room is left to achieve work-life balance.”

The banker further said that the decision does not make monetary sense, as it will hurt the performance of the staff. “We deal directly with the public. How do you think this interaction will go once we are overworked?”

Rizvi informed that employees had sent letters to the Pakistan Banking Association (PBA), sharing their grievances; however, they have not yet received an answer.

Meanwhile, on condition of anonymity, another banker told Business Recorder that increasing working hours will compromise employee efficiency.

“The world is moving towards flexible timings and reducing working hours, while here, it is the opposite,” they said.

What are your views on this? Share in the comments bar below.

  • Agreed. All over the world, 5 working days are observed. And developed countries are enjoying success with five working days. We don’t know 6 working days will increase performance. Addition to that, when number of working days are increased, working hour per day are decreased. But no such action was taken. And both number of days and number of working hours are increased, without any increase in compensation.
    Furthermore Government sector can never be compared with banking sector. Banking jobs are way more time invested and stressful.
    Quality is more important than quantity.

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