Chauffeurs driven too hard

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 November, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 November, 1995, 12:00am

CHAUFFEURS to the territory's top officials are putting their health at risk by working too hard, the auditor has found.

Many routinely do six hours' overtime a day, depriving them of 'reasonable rest', he said.

Hardest-working were the drivers to the secretaries for Home Affairs, Health and Welfare, Recreation and Culture, Transport and Works, said Director of Audit Dominic Chan Yin-tat in his annual report on government finances.

The chauffeur to Home Affairs Secretary Michael Suen Ming-yeung worked an average of 192 hours overtime per month.

Second was the Secretary for Health and Welfare's driver who worked an extra 183 hours.

Mr Chan said the prolonged overtime was damaging employees' health and giving rise to unnecessary expenditure.

He said the overtime allowance for government chauffeurs and drivers, which was $3.8 million in 1994-95, could be reduced by granting time off in lieu and rescheduling working hours.

The Civil Service Branch was urged to consider sharing the chauffeurs' workload with other drivers.

The Government Land Transport Agency accepted it was important for road safety to allow chauffeurs at least one rest day per week and promised to examine the arrangements.