Almost everything shuts down in Cyprus during the sizzling month of August and this year is no exception.
Over 260,000 employees in the private, public and semi-governmental sectors are currently on vacation – either at home or abroad. This means that one in two employees are on leave and as a result both the public and private sector are understaffed.
The shutdown is also because of provisions in collective agreements for certain professions which provide for a two-week rest during the month of August. In addition, August 15, which marks Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is a public holiday. and that’s probably why most employees choose the week of August 15 for their summer vacation.
More than half of the private sector’s 409,117 employees are now on leave. And more than half of the total of 52,069 public sector employees are currently on holiday. The same applies for the wider public sector, that is semi-government organisations and local administration, since 50% of the some 60,000 staff members are on leave.
However, despite the increased number of public and local administration employees on leave, it does not appear that those left behind are over-stressed since most citizens are also away and only resort to public services when necessary.
It’s a different story for private sector employees – especially for those who are burdened with the added duties of those on leave.
By Eleftheria Peizanou