Govt Allows 4-Day Work Week For All Private Employees; But Shift Hours May Become Longer

Govt Allows 4-Day Work Week For All Private Employees; But Shift Hours May Become Longer
Govt Allows 4-Day Work Week For All Private Employees; But Shift Hours May Become Longer

There could soon be a 4-day work week for all industry segments.

The Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra announced on Monday that the Government is working on a new labour code, which will allow a four-day working week with longer work hours/day.

The weekly limit under the new code will continue to remain 48 hours, however employers will be allowed to deploy their employees flexible work hours, depending upon the number of active days in the week.

Let’s learn more about this.

4-Days Work Week?

Apurva Chandra informed on Monday that the new labour code will allow employers to put in place a four or five-day work week, with consent from their employees.

The 48-hour weekly calendar will shift to one of the following cycles:

  • Four 12-hour workdays/week,
  • Five days/week with about 10-hours/day, or
  • Six 8-hour workdays/week.

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

This means once the new code is implemented, employers will no longer have to take permission from the government for a 4-days work week, meaning employees can enjoy one whole day off, whilst working for longer hours per working day.

Advantages of 4-Days Work Week for Employees and Employers

While employees will be utterly happy with the idea of getting a whole day off, or a 3-day holiday/per week, this schedule will turn out to be advantageous for employers too.

On the employees side, they will get one whole extra day to spend on leisure activities and recover from their weekly pressures, while for employers, this is likely to save costs, as office rents will reduce, in conjunction with more energized and productive staff.

Kamal Karanth, CEO of Xpheno says, “It will benefit sectors such as information technology and shared services. In the banking and financial services industry, 20-30% people can use the long working hours template for four or five days and enjoy a longer break.

Profiles like human resources and finance verticals can easily adopt such a practice faster.”

Another executive says that foreign firms will be the first to adopt it as this will reduce their real estate expenditure at one end and improve productivity of workers on the other. 

Rituparna Chakraborty from TeamLease Services says, “It’s not enforcement but an option. I believe labour-intensive sectors such as manufacturing will adopt them. Imagine a company doing the same work in four days instead of five and the benefit of saving one day of operational cost—that’s a big positive.”

Disadvantages Of 4-Day Work Week

At the same time, there is a growing tribe of entrepreneurs and veterans, who are opposing the 4-day work week module.

For instance, Ms. Yogita Tulsiani, Director and Co-founder, iXceed Solutions, who said, “The 4 days work week concept has been in discussion for quite some time now. This debate has started off in Germany that already has the lowest working hours in a week at 34.2 hours. Several companies have experimented with it. But I suppose a 5-day work culture is more effective and contributes to better productivity at the workplace. Since the reduction in working days will reflect in the number of increased working hours, it will act as more burden for the employees. The increased timeline of work will hassle the employees stress level per day decreasing the work productivity. Also, the 4 days work culture can only be implemented according to the functioning and working of different sectors. Sectors like the manufacturing sector, service sector, etc might not be able to meet the consumers expectations and demand. I believe the 5 days work week has a better impact on the output and results.

Some workplaces have 4 working days and some have 5, this might create chaos in functioning. If the organization we serve has 5 work days and on contrary, we have 4 work days, it will be difficult to sync up the schedules. 4 working days means 57% of the week is working while 43% of the week is ‘off’. It might be difficult for some people to switch modes (work to off) so quickly. Many other work/schedules will have to be altered to keep up with this, some of which might not even be possible.”

It will be interesting to observe how the corporate culture adopts to this new work model, and whether it will be fruitful or not.

We will keep you updated, as more details come in.

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