Four-day workweek may become a reality, but working hours not to exceed 48 hours per week

Employees will have an option to work for four days a week in the country soon. The Union 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 that 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,” Mr Chandra has added. 

The labour secretary has clarified that companies cannot 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. Companies will have the flexibility to either allow four-, five- or six-day workweek, Mr Chandra has said, adding that companies and employees must agree to the four-day week schedule. 

Mr Chandra has also added that labour unions would oppose the move only if companies do not 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 2019. The government received comments concerning these rules in January this year.

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