His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, announced the introduction of the staggered hours (flexible working hours) for RTA employees as this Monday.
In the initial stage which lasts three months, the system covers the Corporate Administrative Support Services Sector before being generalized to include various agencies and sectors of the RTA. The move is viewed as an effort to improve better services to employees in a manner customized to fit each of them, ensure higher commitment to the standard working hours, comply with the Dubai Government Human Resources Law No 27 for 2006 fixing the official working hours as 7 hours per day, and in line with the powers vested in Departments by the Law.
Al Tayer called on RTA employees to benefit from the new working hours system in improving their performance, capitalizing on the excellence environment provided to showcase employees innovations and minimize time pressures. He stated that the new initiative launched by the RTA addressed the humanitarian, administrative and communal aspects and nurtured an ideal environment for employees and the business as well.
“This initiative contributes to solving some problems and difficulties suffered by individuals whether within or outside the RTA. In terms of attendance, RTA employees will report to duty at three different timings in the morning and disperse at three different timings in the afternoon. This in turn will alleviate the congestion in all directions to and from the entrances of RTA building, particularly noting that the area is surrounded by schools. The initiative will also have a partial contribution to the reduction of traffic congestion due to the staggered hours which means spacing the number of vehicles on roads on a broader time frame. It will also help family members board one vehicle to report to their duties as RTA employees will have flexibility in fixing the start and end of their working hours,” explained Al Tayer.
For his part Yousef Jawad, CEO of RTA Corporate Administrative Support Services Sector said: “The Human Resources Department at the Sector, which has developed and will oversee the system, held two workshops to educate employees on the objectives of the new system along with the benefits accruing to them & their families and to the community as well. The flexi hours system offers an additional opportunity for employees to report and leave office in the time that better suits them. They can select and change the flextime on daily basis as it suits their circumstances without having to obtain a prior permit, or being committed to a specific timing for a set period or in a continuous manner. Moreover, the situation will remain as it is for employees who are suited to the previous system. The new system is set to increase the productivity, improve job efficiency, provides a friendlier working environment, raises job stability and enhances employees’ loyalty. The new system addresses the circumstances of all employees, and relieves them of feeling guilty when they had to be delayed a few minutes after 07.30 am; which gives them psychological relief and overcomes the consequences of the guilty feeling together with its impact on the performance as well as human relations in the surrounding environment.”
The Director of Human Resources Kawther Kazim said: “Any employee has the option to go by his or her previous working hours system; which starts from 07.30 am and continues through 02.30 pm, but has to be more strict in observing the working hours, and avoiding late reporting to duty or early leaving of office. Any employee is entitled to go for the other working hours option (from 08.00 am to 03.00 pm) if he or she has circumstances that warrant delay from the routine working hours such as lifting his or her children to the school or otherwise. The employee who wishes to leave the office earlier (at 02.00 pm) has to report to duty at 07.00 am or earlier. In all cases, all employees have to be on duty during the official working days from 08.00 am to 02.00 pm. This means that the working hours of the RTA will be extended one extra hour as the working hours will now be from 07.00 am to 03.00 pm, through advancing the start of the working day half an hour and extending the ending time half an hour as well since
there will be employees who will opt to start their working hours earlier and others who prefer to start at a later time. The whole exercise will be in the interest of work, contribute to increased productivity, raise the job satisfaction and rid employees of rush driving to their offices to report to duty on time in an effort to avoid the self-blame caused by the late arrival let alone the ensuing administrative issues.
“Selecting the flextime does not contract with the need to attend the official meetings fixed by the line manager or Director even if the timing of the meeting was beyond the limits of the flextime set by the employee for himself or herself. The Flextime, however, does not include employees on shifts, and front-line staff who deliver direct services to the public due to the peculiar nature of these jobs,” added Kawther in a final remark.