- The new working hours for employees will be from 9:45 am to 6:15 pm
- The total working days in a year will be 264 against 288 currently
- The government believes that the five-day work week will improve the quality of life
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced a five-day working week for its officers and employees starting February 29 and extended the current working hours by 45 minutes.
The government is of the view that the new structure will not only improve the quality of life of its employees, but also reduce expenses for fuel and electricity. State employees have been asking for the five-day work week for many years.
The decision was taken in the state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai, which will benefit nearly 20 lakh officials and employees.
Currently, the working hours of government employees in Mumbai are from 9:45 am to 5:30 pm and from 10 am to 5:45 pm in the rest of Maharashtra, including the lunch hour of 30 minutes. Employees are currently on vacation every second and fourth Saturday.
The new working hours will be from 9.45 am to 6.15 pm including the lunch break for 30 minutes between 1 pm and 2 pm. Workers in government departments, however, have to report to work at 9.30 am every day.
“With the five-day week, offices throughout the state will have the same working hours. Lunch time would be for a maximum of 30 minutes between 1 pm and 2 pm,” said the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in a statement.
However, offices covered by Factory Rules, Industrial Disputes Act and essential services like police and fire brigade, government colleges, polytechnic colleges, health workers are excluded .
Apart from central government employees, the five-day week structure is currently in place for employees of the governments of Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
“Because of the five-day week, expenses for electricity, water, diesel and petrol will be saved. Government employees can now spend time with their families which will increase their quality of life,” the statement said.
Currently, the total working days for government employees in Maharashtra are 288 in a year, while the total working hours per day is 7:15 hours, excluding the 30-minute lunch break. The total working hours in a month are 174 hours and in a year 2088 hours.
“Due to the five-day work week, the total working days in a year will be 264, while the working hours per month will be 176 and 2112 hours in a year,” the CMO said. Maharashtra Gazetted Officers Association president GD Kulthe welcomed the five-day work decision.
“The five-day week structure will benefit women employees. All government employees and officers’ associations have welcomed the decision,” he said.