Yemen Moves to the 5 Working Days System [Archives:1999/44/Local News]

November 1 1999

SANAA: In an effort to get rid of qat and, the government had decided to take a courageous step in implementing the 5-working days system in Yemen for the first time ever. This means that government offices, including ministries, schools, and other establishment will only have 5 working days starting from Saturday until Wednesday. However, the number of working hours within the weekdays would increase from six to eight to be from 8:00 to 15:00. This step was welcomed by the majority of employees in the public sector because of two main advantages. First it will cause difficulty for employees to chew qat within the limited hours between 15:00 till sunset. Second it will enable them to have 2 days as a weekly vacation. It is worth mentioning that the Yemen Times had once placed a poll question regarding whether to have this system implemented or not, the poll results approved the change. However, the only problem in this is with banks because most of the banks in the world have Saturday and Sunday as vacation, hence there will be a 4-day lag of money transfer, etc. between the Yemeni and world banks.