Representational Image
Representational Image

In what might come across as a potential relief to ol' wage earners, multiple reports on Tuesday said that the Government of India is likely to soon implement new labour codes which make way for a four-day work-week.

While the prospect of a three-day weekend in the wake of COVID-19 fatigue sounds almost as appealing as a weekend getaway in Jamaica amid the World War, what such labour codes indicate is that workers may now expect longer workdays to compensate for the off.

According to reports, the new labour codes that the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment is working on might stick to the existing hour-week work ratio, i.e. 48 hours of work per week.

If the working hours per week remain the same despite an additional off, it only means that employees may now be subjected to 12 hours of work per day for the four workdays.

Business Insider reported that the Labour and Employment Ministry is trying bring more "flexibility" in working days, to remain in sync with the "changing work culture".

“Companies will have to give three days’ of paid leaves and 12 hours of work per day to their employees with the consent of the workers. We are not forcing employees or employers," the report quoted Apurva Chandra, the ministry's secretary, as saying.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the general standard of work is 48 regular hours of work per week, with no more than eight hours of work per day.

However, it is to be noted that several activists and social organisations have highlighted that in India, employees are often made to work way beyond 48 hours per week, in gross violation of the ILO's standards.

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