4 days work, 3 days off? India labour code may transform office culture, if passed

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 21, 2021, 06:54 PM(IST)

Is India planning to implement reforms in labour codes? (Image credit: Pixabay). Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

If labour codes in India are reformed, will it change the in-hand salary structure, working hours and the number of weekdays? Here's a report

The past two years have seen a drastic change in the work culture after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started spreading across the world at the beginning of 2020, forcing countries to implement partial or complete lockdown. 

Business and offices were shifted online and work from home became the new normal. Globally, many sectors are still practising the work from home culture or have introduced a hybrid system, where employees are coming to offices on one or two days of the week as the Covid variants continue to wreak havoc. 

India also imposed lockdowns, allowing only individuals associated with the essential services to continue working as usual but with the following necessary measures, like using face maks, social distancing, sanitising, etc. to curb the spread of the deadly virus. 

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But is India planning to implement reforms in labour codes, intending to bring about changes on a larger scale? And if it happened, how will it impact individual employees? 

Will it change the in-hand salary of employees, working hours, and the number of weekdays? Here's a report:

A report by news agency PTI has stated that four labour codes on wages, social security, industrial relations and occupation safety, health and working conditions are likely to be implemented by the next fiscal year. 

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"The four labour codes are likely to be implemented in the next financial year of 2022-23 as a large number of states have finalised draft rules on these," an official was quoted by PTI as saying. 

"The Centre has completed the process of finalising the draft rules on these codes in February 2021. But since labour is a concurrent subject, the Centre wants the states to implement these as well in one go," he added. 

How will it impact individuals?

The report mentioned that the central government has notified four labour codes likely related to wages, social security, occupational safety, health and working conditions. 

Hindustan Times has published a report, citing experts as it speculated that the reformed codes might give employees in India a privilege of a four-day workweek instead of five days from next year.

However, there's a catch, if it happens, the employees might have to work for 12 hours on those four days. For the unversed, the labour ministry has indicated that the 48-hour weekly work requirement will be in place. 

There's also a possibility that there will be a reduction in in-hand salary and if it happens, the employees' Provident Fund (PF) will be impacted. 

When the codes are likely to be implemented?

India's Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav in a reply to the Rajya Sabha earlier this week had said that the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code is the only code on which the least number of 13 states have pre-published the draft rules. 

However, the Centre as well as states are required to notify rules under the four codes to enforce these laws in respective jurisdictions. 

Under the Codes, the power to make rules have been entrusted to the Central Government, State Government and appropriate Government and there is a requirement of publication of Rules in their official Gazette for a period of 30 or 45 days for public consultation. 

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