Two-day week for Venezuelan public sector workers

The latest in a series of measures to alleviate the severe electricity crisis in the country

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Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro | Picture by: Fernando Llano / AP/Press Association Images

The Venezuelan government has imposed a two-day working week for civil servants as a temporary measure to help alleviate a serious energy crisis in the country.

Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz announced that public sector employees should only turn up for work on Mondays and Tuesdays, except for those carrying out essential tasks.

At the beginning of this month, the President Nicolás Maduro gave the majority of Venezuela’s state employees the day off on Fridays during April and May in an effort to reduce energy consumption.

Venezuela is currently experiencing a major drought causing reduced water levels at its main dam and hydroelectric plant. This dam provides approximately two-thirds of the energy needs for the country.

The Venezuelan President and his government say the drought is caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon, and the problem should be alleviated once it begins raining again.

This two-day week is the latest in a series of drastic measures imposed by the government.  

Last week it was announced that electricity would be switched off for four hours a day in Venezuela’s ten most populous states to deal with the power shortage.

In February, shopping centres were ordered to reduce their opening hours and provide their own generators. President Maduro also urged women to minimise their use of energy-heavy appliances like hairdryers.

State employees have been assured that full salaries will still be paid despite the shorter working week.