Indian Government considering a Four-day Working Week

The Indian government are considering finalising the rules for a new set of labour codes, which would introduce a four-day working week.

“We have tried to bring in some flexibility into the workdays.”

The Indian Government is close to implementing a four-day working week for 1.3 billion of the country’s population.

India is considering finalising the rules for a new set of labour codes. These codes could give companies in India the flexibility of reducing the number of working days to four.

However, the new proposal would mean employees will have to work 12-hour shifts instead of nine.

When finalised, the new labour codes will already show the provision of flexibility in having a reduced number of days in a working week.

Therefore, companies will not need a prior green light from the government to implement it.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment is currently finalising the rules for the labour codes.

According to Apurva Chandra, India’s Labour and Employment Secretary, many organisations around India showed interest in providing their employees with a four-day work week.

However, the hours-per-week limit of 48 will remain.

During a press conference, Chandra said:

“It is possible that an employer may provide for a five-day working week and I have come across employers who say that we want even a 4-day working week.

“We have tried to bring in some flexibility into the workdays.”

Chandra also went on to say that if an organisation chooses a four-day work week, this does not mean that paid holidays would be reduced.

Under a four-day week, organisations will have to provide employees with three days of consecutive holidays.

Chandra said: “It [working days] could come down below five.

“If it is four, then you have to provide three paid holidays… so if it has to be a seven day week, then it has to be divided into 4, 5 or 6 working days.”

Alongside the four-day work week, the new rules propose free medical check-ups for workers through the Employees State Insurance Corporation.

The rule-making process is currently underway. Speaking of the process, Chandra said:

“All stakeholders are also being consulted in framing of rules.

“The ministry would soon be in a position to bring into force the four Codes, viz., Code on Wages, Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH) and Social Security Codes.”

The ministry also announced that it would launch a website for the unorganised labour sector.

This would collect relevant information on building and construction workers.

It would also help to create schemes to benefit migrant workers for health, housing, skill, insurance, credit and food.

The website is due to launch in May 2021 or June 2021.

Louise is an English with Writing graduate with a passion for travel, skiing and playing the piano. She also has a personal blog which she updates regularly. Her motto is "Be the change you wish to see in the world."