Are We Ready for a Four-day Work Regime With Longer Shifts?

We might soon witness a three-day weekend becoming a reality with the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment drafting new labour codes. The Centre is looking at allowing firms to go ahead with a four-day work regime. The new labour codes might allow a three-day weekend but will increase the working hours to 48 hours per week, translating to extended working hours for employees.

Apurva Chandra, the Labour and Employment Ministry Secretary, mentioned that the new labour codes aim to enable provision to employees in line with the changing work culture. Firms will need to give three days’ of paid leave and 12 hours of work in a day to their employees after receiving their consent. Firms will not be permitted to increase their working hours to more than the mandatory 48-hour limit per week.

The government is currently formulating the draft rules; the changes proposed will be part of the new labour codes. As per reports, the new labour codes will also help employees with free medical check-ups via the Employees State Insurance Corporation.

The Union labour ministry is currently finalising rules under four labour codes: Code on Wages, Industrial Relations, Social Security, and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions. Now, the rulemaking process is going on, and it is likely to be completed in the upcoming week. For the framing of rules, all the concerned stakeholders have been consulted. The ministry plans to enforce all the four codes in a single go.

Also, to register workers in the unorganised sector, work is being done to roll out an online portal within June this year. These workers comprise migrant, gig and platform workers.

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