Civil servants in Burkina Faso now have to work an extra 30 minutes per day – a change that came into effect over the New Year.
Their working day now begins at 07:30 local time and ends at 16:00 with a 30-minute break, instead of starting at 07:00 and finishing at 15:30.
Burkina Faso’s government says it decided to make the change to improve poor staff performance and tardiness.
But many workers, such as Sylvie Kabore – who is an archivist and a mother of three – say they cannot help but arrive late to work because they have to travel long distances from their homes to work and must also drop their children off at school on their way to the office.
As many as 50% to 65% of civil servants arrive late at work for these reasons, says Jacques Dingara, who is one of those charged with “modernising public administration” in Burkina Faso.
For its part, the Burkinabe government has made a number of promises to improve facilities for civil servants, including new canteens, transport arrangements and disabled toilets – but these have not yet been fully implemented.
Postal workers are among those who will now work longer hours.