Ministry of Labour and Employment Proposes to Enhance Flexibility by Allowing Employers

“The Covid-19 pandemic paved way for a more dynamic and flexible work culture. Adoption of a 4-day workweek would certainly be a major next step and a significant leap forward in the same direction. From an employer’s perspective assessing the feasibility and its impact on the output would be immediate concerns to be addressed. Further, there are other ancillary challenges such as dual employment, as employees may tend to use the extra free time to take up other jobs during the 3 off-work days. From an employee’s perspective, working for 12 hours a day for 4 days at a stretch may increase stress levels and cause burnout in the long run, which will affect their productivity. Finally, a multitude of factors such as job role, nature of the industry, etc. would also play a vital role in the viability of 4 work-days a week and a blanket approach for all may not be a viable option. Also, a 4 day work week may just be the game-changer for enhancing the participation of women in India’s workforce. Most importantly, the recognition of a 4-day workweek by law would send an extremely strong signal to both employers and employees on the need for a better work-life balance. It would not be incorrect to say that working beyond normal working hours is a tacit norm and part of minimum expectations in India today, at least in the private sector - which certainly needs to change.” Minu Dwivedi, Partner, J Sagar Associates

Minu Diwedi

Partner, J Sagar Associates

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