Employee discontent as Iran adopts new summer office hours to curb energy use

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Iran has changed government workers’ office hours in the summer to try to reduce increased energy consumption, but media reports said some employees are unhappy with the early start.

The new working hours for the next three months, from 06:00 (0330 GMT) to 13:00, came into effect this week.


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They are intended to address problems the country faces during the heat of the summer when power consumption peaks.

Many people are said to be struggling to adapt to the new six o’clock start, however.

The revised summer hours came about after parliament approved a new law from the start of the Iranian calendar year in March 2023, mandating that the government no longer observe daylight saving time.

To be at the office by six means that some employees, especially those who commute long distances, must wake at five or even four in the morning.

“This is causing many problems for parents who need to take young kids to primary school or kindergarten,” government employee Morteza told AFP.

“Even though it’s been just a couple of days since the new working hours began, families like ours are really struggling to cope,” the 44-year-old father of three added.

While the new working regime applies to government employees, those in the private sector generally start at around 9:00 am, meaning fewer hours available to do business, such as with banks.

“Banks will close at 1:00 pm which is my peak time at work, so my transactions will have to be delayed to tomorrow or the next day,” Bahman Eshghi, secretary general of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, told Sazandegi daily.

“The biological clock should not be disrupted with invented measures, as this can reduce efficiency at work,” he added.

Under the new scheme, government employees work one hour less a day than what is enshrined in the law.

But the government is asking them to make up that hour through remote working -- a solution parliament has rejected as “illegal.”

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