Labour Codes: Longer work days, 3-day weekend may become reality

Employers making staff work for 4 days will have to give them three days off, while those making them work for five days will have to give them two days off with pay, before the start of a fresh work week


Companies in India may soon be permitted to follow a four-day workweek. However, if this is implemented, as part of the new labour codes, the work hours per week will remain 48, which means employees may have to work longer on a daily basis.

For decades now, Indian professionals have been used to working for much more than 48 hours a week, which is against the standards set by the International Labour Organization’s (ILO), under which the maximum work hours per day is eight and per week is 48.

In the summer of 2019, Microsoft Japan had successfully experimented with the four-day work week. It had allowed its employees a three-day weekend . Not only did the Company report a spike in productivity, which went up by 40 per cent, but it saved costs too. The spend on electricity was reduced by 23 per cent and use of paper for printing also came down 66 per cent.

The Labour and Employment Ministry maintains that the provision of a three-day weekend and longer work days (12 hours a day), is being introduced in an attempt to ensure flexibility. However, companies will not be forced to follow or implement the same.

Organisations may choose from three options —either allow staff to work for 12 hours a day for four days in a week, or let them work for five days for about 10 hours a day or follow the six-day working schedule at eight hours a day.

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