Government open to 4-day work week, but with cap on total hours at 48

The centre is not forcing employers or employees to comply with this provision, saying it is being brought to provide flexibility and be in sync with changing work culture.
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Soon, you may have a four-day work week.

On Monday, the Centre announced that its new labour codes would soon provide an option for organisations to allow their employees to work for four days a week.

Addressing a press briefing on Monday, Union Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra said this provision will comprise a work limit of 48 hours per week.

The minister added that organisations would have three choices — deploying employees for four days at 12 hours per day, five days at around 10 hours per day, and six days at eight hours per day.

Chandra further added that centre was not forcing employers or employees to comply with the provision adding that this was being brought in to provide flexibility and to be in sync with changing work culture in the country.

The government has already indicated that it can implement all the four Labour Codes — Wages, Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions and Social Security — before the start of the new financial year.

All these have been enacted and draft Rules and draft model Standing Orders are already up for discussion.

“The rule making process is already underway and likely to complete in the coming week. All stakeholders are also consulted in the framing of rules,” Chandra said. 

The draft Rules for Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code says no worker will be required or allowed to work in an establishment for more than 48 hours in a week.

Also, the period of work shall be inclusive of intervals for rest, and shall not exceed 12 hours in a day.

Besides, the ministry is also progressing to roll out a web portal by June 2021 for registration and other facilities of workers in the unorganised sector, including gig and platform workers and migrant workers as enshrined in her Budget speech this year by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

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