Maharashtra government employees to have five-day weeks from Feb 29
A government statement said that as per the new format, employees will have to work for 2,112 hours annually, which is higher than the previous average of 2,088
After fighting for it for almost 15 years now, Maharashtra government employees will finally get five-day work weeks starting February 29. Despite some concerns within the ministerial team, the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Cabinet has taken the decision.
However, the working hours on weekdays will be increased by at least 45 minutes.
Sources said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had some reservations, but Thackeray went ahead. Pawar had reportedly questioned the decision saying that expecting employees, who were not prepared to work eight hours in the current regime, to work even more in a five-day week was impractical.
A government statement said that as per the new format, employees will have to work for 2,112 hours annually, which is higher than the previous average of 2,088.
However, the five-day weeks will not apply to offices that work under factory rules, including essential services like public hospitals, state-run schools/colleges, police, jails, water supply, fire brigade and conservancy staff.
According to Subhash Gangurde, general secretary of the state employees' apex union, over 12 lakh employees will benefit from the decision.
"We thank CM Thackeray for addressing our long-pending concern. We assure the government that the five-day week will not only enhance employee productivity but will also save the government a massive expenditure on fuel, water and electricity," he said.
However, the union said that the extra working hours should be adjusted in the morning and evening. "Going very early to office or leaving very early will add to the existing problems, especially for women. We will present our view before the timing is adjusted," added Gangurde.
The decision evoked mixed reactions from Twitterati. A user, Asma Rizwan said, "Very good beginning. In the world we live today we need five days for work-life balance."
However, another user, Ankit Mishra said, "They (employees) don't even work on working days."
New office timings
9.45 am to 6.15 pm (previously, in Mumbai it was 9.45 am to 5.30 pm and 10 am to 5.45 pm outside city)
9.30 am to 6.30 pm for office attendants
Lunchtime: Maximum 30 minutes between 1 pm and 2 pm
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