To get employees to work to 8 hours in compliance with the new labor laws in Maldives, resort managements are going to great lengths and are doing everything short of arresting them. This shall not have been the case if most employers do make occasional use of common sense (which sad to say is the least common thing on earth). For a start if the ‘management’ is aware that there indeed is a little bit of difference between say a garments factory and a luxury hotel, progressing from thence would be a little bit easier. A textile or garments factory worker doing a shift duty say sewing or cutting clothes etc his or her work is directionally proportional to the amount of time he or she spends on the factory floor with his or her machine if all other factors are accounted for. The same is not true for a luxury resort worker in Maldives and the reasons shall not be hard to understand. Take for instance the all too common “roomboy”. However punctual or overzealous or fretful the roomboy is he simply cannot do his job according to his own tempo. His work is dictated for him by the daily habits of his guest or the particular mood or temperament of his supervisor who might send him on little annoying errands just because he felt like it. The same can be said of the plumber whose work will start when some disagreeable fitting came loose or the likes of such. Mindful of these inconsistencies in the nature of work and the need to get worth of salt for every penny (or cent or whatever) the venerable Human Resources Departments are coming out with ingenious ideas. One such idea is the stratification of time with fancy names as ‘up time’, ‘down time’, ‘on time’ etc. The idea is to find as many reasons to detain staff on the job and be as economic as possible which makes perfect business sense. But somethings doesn’t quite fit in.
The majority of human race would prefer straight talking. Straight talking meaning honest talk without attached strings or barely legible subscripts. Enter the case of 8 hour day which was a hard fought and won battle somewhere around 1800. Roughly 200 years later the employers and employees seems to be still at it trying to reinvent the wheel. What the ‘management’ is trying to do is to introduce into a regular work day qualifications of time which will make it impossible for any worker except them (because some sections of labour law doesn’t apply to them) to be able to do their prescribed “8 hours”. For how can a telephone operator claim to have worked 8 hours on a particular day if the call timers in the phone machine is not matching what is claimed? What is at fault here is sincerity. If the employers would like to admonish staff to be sincere in work and in attitude they could advice themselves first and mend their ways of thinking.