- SBP has recently notified a six-day working week, and longer work-day
Bank employees staged a demonstration in front of the State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP) head office on Friday, urging the government and the regulator to revert to old timings.
Scores of employees representing different banks thronged the II Chundrigar Road, the 'Wall Street' of Pakistan, expressing their displeasure at the recent announcement.
Talking to Business Recorder, Rizvi*, a credit analyst, informed that protests were called through social media.
“We want the government to revert this decision,” said Rizvi, adding that similar protests were carried out in Lahore and Hyderabad as well.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered a single weekly off for public departments.
Following the federal government's directive, the SBP also increased its working days from five to six a week, in accordance with the new government's regulations, while also changing its office and business timings for the month of Ramazan.
“As per the decision of the Federal Government communicated vide Notification No.6/2/1996-D-2 dated April 12, 2022, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) 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, also a key organiser 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 economic sense, as it will have a negative impact on the performance of the staff. “We deal directly with the public. How do you think this interaction will go once we are over-worked?"
Rizvi informed that employees have sent letters to the Pakistan Banking Association (PBA), sharing their grievances; however, they have not yet received a response.
Meanwhile, another banker, on condition of anonymity, told Business Recorder that increasing working hours will have a negative impact on employee efficiency.
“The world is moving towards flexible timings and reducing working hours, while here, it is the opposite,” they said.
Name of person quoted in the story has been changed to protect their identity.