Staggered Public Sector Schedules and Accumulated Shifts

Staggered Public Sector Schedules and Accumulated Shifts

On July 12, decree number 39793 was signed; it establishes a series of measures to reduce the traffic problem.  The decree is applicable only to public entities located in the Greater Metropolitan Area. As of July 26, they must have 30% of their staff participating in this program.

Staggered Hours. The decree establishes different start times:  6:30 am, 8:00 am and 9:30 am.
Accumulated Schedule. One of the more noteworthy parts of the program is the implementation of an accumulated schedule in the public sector. It has the following features:


·        The work week will be four days per week, 10 hours per day until reaching 40 hours. This is probably the most significant difference compared to the accumulated schedule that is being implemented in the private sector.

·        Two of these four days must be Monday and Friday. In other words, the additional day off must be Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

·        The entity's operations and public service must not be affected.

Agreements. Employees must reach an agreement with their employers for implementing the new times and shifts. In many cases, the agreements were individual, i.e., each person had a different schedule.

Exceptions. The measures do not apply to health centers, hospitals, the police, educational centers, and emergency care services.

Time Period. These are temporary measures. On November 30, the Ministry of Public Work must present a report that shows whether or not the decree has had any effect on decreasing roadway congestion.

Comments: Although the possibility of applying the same structure to the private sector has not been formally suggested, it is a step forward. It would be ideal for chambers and other private sector organizations to request that similar rules be applied since the traffic problem affects public and private employees both.


Alejandra Montiel Quirós