Flexible working arrangements introduced for mothers in the civil service

The Civil Service Commission has amended the regulations to allow flexible working hours and the option to work from home for pregnant women and women with children under three years of age who have “no proper caretaking arrangements”.

With the regulation coming into effect today, any eligible female civil servant can now apply to make such arrangements under a separate contract.

The amendment requires the human resource committees of all institutions to formulate a standard procedure for flexible work hours and working from home. These standard procedures should include criteria for allowing such work arrangements – to address difficulties in services that may arise, as well as the amount of work and time period required for the arrangement.

With both flexible work hours and working from home, employers will not get the normal one hour break in the afternoon, and institutions are allowed to reduce the employees salary if their working hours fall below that normally required.

As of December 2013, there were 24,207 civil servants in the country – approximately 54% of them women. Nearly 75% of women in the civil service work as teachers, nurses, and administrative staff.

A subsidised childcare system and allowing women to work from home through the internet was part of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) manifesto pledged by President Abdulla Yameen.

The Minister of Defense has earlier promised a day-care center for the Maldives National Defense Force.