The local government in Guizhou province plans to have some of its employees work on a more flexible schedule, according to a notice released on its official website.
The trial run of the program in Qingzhen, a city in the southwestern province, was launched on November 1 and will end on May 31. The timetable gives two options for employees. Some of them can work consecutively for 22 days and rest for eight days, while some can work in cycles of 11 days and rest for four days.
According to the notice, civil servants carrying out administrative work in departments such as bureau of civil affairs and family planning office will be offered the new schedule. And these people account for more than 80 percent of all civil servants in Qingzhen.
The total number of working days in a month cannot be lower than 22.
"The adjustment aims to benefit the majority of customers who usually work during weekdays. By using this rotating schedule, we can improve efficiency by ensuring our offices are open every day except holidays," said Li Zhengfei, deputy head of the organization department of the city's CPC Committee.
According to Li, most of the officials in Qingzhen usually sacrifice their weekends in emergency cases and can't get their holidays back. So this rotation system not only benefits customers but also guarantees that civil servants can enjoy their holidays without being disturbed.
Wang Xixin, a professor of administrative law from Peking University, said, "To make sure that this reform is successfull, we should ensure that it has a good purpose achieved by reasonable means. Moreover, the adjustment should obey the existing laws."
The guideline issued by the State Council said that normally employees should work eight hours per day, thus 40 hours per week. However, enterprises or authorities of special industry or situation can adjust working hours as needed.
"Though there is still no official document related to this new schedule, three towns using the flexible timetable have already reported encouraging results," Li said.