Using Work Hours for Personal Matters
Q: I have an office job at one of the Eskom Power Stations. I try and spend my time fruitfully in the service of Eskom however I make personal calls to family and elsewhere during business hours. I do this because it is quite late by the time I finish work and most of the business houses are closed. I also sometimes compare prices of items on the internet or look for personal items that I need to buy. I have the following question regarding the above:
1. Am I accountable and will I be questioned for the time that I spend at work, attending to personal matters?
2. If yes, do I need to give a portion of my salary equal to the time wasted as Lillah?
Please advise me in this regard.
A: The stipulated working hours belong to the company and that time cannot be used for any personal work except with express permission from the owner. In the case of Eskom there is no owner, so permission can be granted by the person above you only if he is authorized to do so. If he is not authorized then his permission is not valid.
The same applies with the company internet and phone.
The breaks (lunch, tea, etc.) can be used for the needs mentioned.
The money for that time has to be returned to the company. If this is not possible then give some money to the poor without making the intention of receiving Thawaab for that money given.
Allah Ta’aala knows best.
May Allah protect, guide and bless you, Aameen.
Moulana Yusuf Laher