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Amid debate on 3 offs a week, Indian bank employees want 5 days work-week; here's why

Employees at the bank began working on alternate Saturdays seven years ago. Since 2015, bank unions have been clamouring for time off on all Saturdays and Sundays.

Amid debate on 3 offs a week, Indian bank employees want 5 days work-week; here's why

New Delhi: Hundreds of thousands of bank employees in India are seeking a five-day workweek while the world debates the benefits and drawbacks of a four-day workweek.

On June 27, at least nine bank employee unions will go on strike for a day to urge their demands. They want Saturday and Sunday off, claiming that the technology available to banks would allow for a smooth transition to a five-day workweek. Read More: NCLAT rejects Amazon's plea to stay CCI order suspending Future Coupons deal approval

Employees at the bank began working on alternate Saturdays seven years ago. Since 2015, bank unions have been clamouring for time off on all Saturdays and Sundays. Read More: Hrithik Roshan gets angry at Burger King, says ‘This is not done’

According to the United Forum of Bank Unions, an umbrella body of nine national level bank unions, including NCBE and AIBEA, the IBA agreed after approval by the RBI and the government that the 2nd and 4th Saturdays would be holidays in the 10th Bipartite Settlement in 2015. 

According to the forum, it was agreed at the time that the establishment of a five-day banking week would be studied. The problem was raised at the 11th bipartite settlement talks, but it could not be resolved, according to the statement.

From June 6, employees at 70 companies around the UK began working a four-day week. The six-month pilot trial is being hailed as the largest of its type, with organisations from a variety of industries participating, including financial services and hotels.

According to a report, it seems like a great leap of faith in work culture to get 100 percent remuneration for working 80 percent of their work hours in exchange for maintaining 100 percent output. India, according to human resource specialists and employment organisations, may not be ready for such an experiment.

They claim that such a system would be impossible to implement in such a large labour market with so many layers. Companies examine the problem from four perspectives: productivity, roles, industries, and geographic locations.

According to talent managers, what is somewhat achievable in some industries is nearly impossible in others. Some argue that the Indian employer psychology is geared to a five-day work ethic, and that a transition to a four-day workweek necessitates a paradigm shift in business thinking.