Public-sector workers can now take unpaid leave for up to five years - instead of the two years allowed until now - or can ask to work reduced hours for the same period of time, based on administrative reform ministry regulations effective since July 1, 2011. The measures concern employees in the public sector, public-sector legal entities and local authority staff.
The unpaid leave can only be requested for serious personal reasons and the applications filed should have the approval of the responsible Service Council.
Employees are also given the option to request a reduction of working hours up to 50 pct with a corresponding cut in pay for a period no longer than five years. Applicants will be free to choose between reduced daily working hours or fewer working days.
The time of unpaid leave will not be taken into account for pension purposes.