Employees will have an option to work for four days a week in the country soon. The labour ministry has decided to allow companies to offer flexibility by incorporating changes in the labour codes. The government has clarified that companies may have the option to choose for a four-day week but employees will have to adjust to longer shifts.
Labour secretary Apurva Chandra has said many companies are interested in providing a four-day work shift. “We have tried to give flexibility in working days. It is entirely possible that some employers may want to provide a five-day week. We have also come across employers who said they are keen to provide a four-day working week,” Chandra said, reported Business Standard.
He clarified that companies can’t increase the workings hours beyond the mandated 48-hour limit for the week. Companies enabling four-day workweek will have to provide three days of consecutive holidays after that, said Chandra. Companies will have the flexibility to either allow four, five or six-day workweek, he said, adding that companies and employees must agree to the four-day week schedule.
He said unions would opposed the move only if companies don’t allow employees a three-day consecutive leave. Notably, the Centre had passed four labour codes in Parliament in September 2020, following draft rules formulated in December. The government received comments concerning these rules in January.
Chandra has said the ministry is giving final touches to the labour rules and that states are also coming with the draft of their own rules. Though India Inc has hailed the newly-enacted three labour codes, claiming it will spur much-needed investment and create more jobs in the country, some believe the law is tilted in favour of employers.
The labour law reforms make hiring and firing easy for companies. It makes it difficult for unions to go on strike without prior 60-day notice. Experts say it will make the future uncertain for employees. Some, however, disagree saying millennials prefer easy and flexible employment terms.