February 24, 2010

Public Pressure Increases: Daylight Savings Under Review

The Fiji Times today reports that there is increasing public concern about daylight savings.

Apparently the Labour Ministry is seeking the views of employers and unions in relation to ending daylight saving months ahead of its initial April 25 deadline.

It is clear that there is overwhelming support for daylight savings to cease by the end of February.

The Fiji Employers Federation Chief, Nesbitt Hazelman say's:
"if daylight saving was to continue to April, workers would arrive at work at dawn."

"April is too far off and it must be moved forward by at least four weeks to allow larger companies to readjust," he said of the policy which was imposed on November 29 last year.
On the new school starting time, he said they had not gauged a true indication of its impact. However, they noted a trend in which workers were late for work because the new hours clashed with their starting time.

The Fiji Chamber of Commerce president Swami Maharaj said the chamber was in favour of ending daylight saving by February 28:
"Our members, most of whom start work at 8-8.30am are concerned about workers arriving late because children are being dropped off,"
"We want to avoid disruptions because customers and businesses are affected in turn."
This of course follows more concerns raised by parents in the Western division, as highlighted in yesterday's Fiji Times:
Working parent Frances Tagi said it was not a good idea for students to start at 9am when many working parents would have to be at work by 8am.

She said this would only allow students to loiter around the bus stands and town before going to school. "Many children travel to school with their parents. Now with the change in times parents would get into work early while students would be still at home," she said.

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