Four-Day Workweek
Courtesy: Medium

Four-Day Workweek To Be Reality Soon?

February 9, 2021

The Central government is mulling to offer companies with the flexibility to have a four-day workweek, however, with longer work durations or shifts.

Quoting labour secretary Apurva Chandra reported that the weekly 48-hour work limit will stay but employers will be able to deploy people on four, 12-hour workdays per week; or five, around 10-hour days; or six, eight-hour days.

The labour secretary further informed that the four-day workweek provision would be a part of the labour code.

"Once the new rules are implemented, no employer will then require to seek the government's permission to shift to a four or a five-day working week. This, however, depends on the approval of their employee," Chandra informed.

He further said that the employers will have to ensure that if they choose a four-day workweek, there has to be a three-day break before the next workweek.

"In case of a five-day workweek, there needs to be two days break before the new workweek is implemented," Chandra added.

He further said that after the new labour codes are in place, then the employers will have the freedom to choose to have 8 to 12 hours workdays, based on demand, industry and location.

Experts believe that most of the employees are likely to be thrilled with the possibility of spending extra time on leisure activities and recover effectively from their weekly pressures.

“It will benefit sectors such as information technology and shared services. In the banking and financial services industry, 20-30 per cent of 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," reported quoting Kamal Karanth, co-founder of human resource firm Xpheno.

He further said that the change in the workweek would benefit a new generation of workers who value ‘me time’.

Karanth believes that foreign firms would be the first to adopt this policy as this will reduce their real estate expenditure, apart from improving the productivity of the workers.

"The COVID-19 work culture has given companies proof of concept and its adoption won’t be tough," Karanth added.

Commenting on the proposed policy, KR Shyam Sundar, a labour economist, said that the extended working shifts "will be taxing on workers, especially in factory settings".

"The work-life balance may get impacted," further wrote quoting him.

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