The state cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal to allow its 22 lakh employees a five-day working week. Employees will now work 45 minutes more Monday to Friday to avail of the weekend off. The five-day week is followed by the central government, in Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
Right now the working hours of government office is from 9.45 am to 5.30 pm. The same has now been extended from 9.45am to 6.15pm with a 30-minute lunch break. This includes the employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as well. Currently, employees would get the second and fourth Saturday off. Offices located outside BMC limits too will follow 9.45 to 6.15 work schedule.
Among those who will not be affected by the government’s decision are government dispensaries, hospitals, police, jail employees, water supply employees, medical colleges and employees, fire brigade, cleanliness employees etc.
The state government employees union has been raising the issue with successive state governments. Last week, they met chief minister Uddhav Thackeray who promised to do it provided work did not suffer.
A week later, the state cabinet approved the five day week.
According to a government press release, currently, employees have 288 working days which will reduce to 264 days. However, the working hours per day will go up from seven hours 15 minutes to eight hours per day. Employees will actually work one-day or 24 hours more every year.
It will not apply to government offices covered under the Factories Act and the Industrial Disputes Act and to those that are considered essential services. These include government hospitals, dispensaries, police, jails, water supply projects, fire brigade, conservancy workers, educational institutes both schools and colleges and technical institutes and others. Due to the five day week policy the government offices will save electricity, water, diesel, petrol.