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India Is Planning Four-Day Week For All Private Employees With Longer Shifts

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The Indian government might soon allow companies with a four-day week work and a long weekend. The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment is working on new labor codes. It will make way for a three-day weekend. Yes, it may happen but with a twist. The employees have to keep the working hours of 48 hours a week, which means employees might be subject to long days. The Labour and Employment Ministry Secretary Apurva Chandra said,

“See, there will be a maximum of 48 hours of work in a week. If someone works for 8 hours a day, then there will be 6 working days per week. If a company opts for 12-hour working per day for its employees, it means four-day working and three holidays.”

“If daily working hours are increased, you will have to give the workers similar holidays also. There will be 5 or 4 working days if duty hours are increased. It will now be mutually agreed to by the employees and employers as to what is appropriate for them. No one will be able to work for 12 hours a day.”

“We are not forcing employees or employers. It gives flexibility. It’s an enabling provision in sync with the changing work culture.”

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Apurva Chandra added,

“Rules and regulations are now being framed on provisions related to working hours. There is no final word as yet. Once the rules are formulated, things will become more clear. The Ministry wishes to assure that establishments will not be able to exploit their employees at any cost.”

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The government also proposes to provide free medical check-ups to workers through the Employees State Insurance Corporation. Apurva Chandra continued,

“For the first time, all types of workers in the country will now get minimum wages. New schemes are being brought in for migrant laborers. A provident fund facility will be given to ensure social security for all kinds of laborers. All workers — in organized and unorganized sectors — will be covered by ESI. Women will be allowed to work in all kinds of trade, and allowed to do night shifts.”

“Both central and state governments have the right to make their own rules on this subject. The state governments are independent to make rules and regulations according to their own conditions. However, in case of any confrontation, the rules of the Centre hold precedence.”

In its budget speech this year by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the ministry is also progressing to create a web portal by May or June 2021 for the registration of workers in the unorganized sector. Apurva Chandra concluded,

“It will enable the collection of proper data on registration of workers in the unorganized sector, including migrants, to facilitate the formulation of policies on remunerative wages.”

A long weekend will come at a cost of long working hours. Are you guys happy with a four-day week? Let us know in the comments below.

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Praneet Samaiya
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