Palau Correspondent

Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. leads a softball tournament for the national government during the July 9 Belau Constitution Day holiday. Photo by Bernadette H. Carreon

KOROR, Palau — The Palau government is adopting a compressed four-day work week aimed at giving public sector employees extra time to spend with their families, amid the threats of COVID-19.

Presidential Directive No. 20-41 was signed on July 1 and gives employees under the Bureau of Public Service System the option to take an extra day work or take a half day off as long as they complete the mandatory 40 hours a week work.

“The need for self-care is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is significantly increasing stress and anxiety for all in Palau,” the Presidential Directive No. 20-41 signed by President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. said.

“Permitting the temporary adoption of a compressed work week to engage in other activities aimed at bettering the employee’s physical and/or mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, to spend quality time with family, and to develop the Palauan community may benefit Palau as a whole,” he said.

But the compressed work week schedule is voluntary, and employees need to sign in on it to use it.

 It does not apply to the private sector, state governments and semi-autonomous agencies.

Only employees under the under the Bureau of Public Service System can participate.

Eunice Akiwo, Director of the Bureau of Domestic Affairs said the directive would not only offer family time for employees but also time for other activities like farming. mbj