India's public sector banks are examining a proposal to a migrate to "five-day a week" work schedule, a move that will likely cheer thousands of employees as state-owned banks hammer out strategies to match private peers' human resource practices.
The move, however, may come bundled with conditions attached with postings in remote areas amid mounting government pressure to widen "financial inclusion" in areas that still remain outside the banking net.
"There is a proposal to move to a five day work schedule," a senior executive at a Mumbai based government bank told Hindustan Times. "It would take some time for us to work out a strategy by which we can ensure that core operations do not come to a halt," he said.
A government official, who did not wish to be identified, said improving human resource practices in sync with private banks were necessary to keep the flock motivated, as there is a large gap in salaries and perks.
"While they want to gain a more professional image, they want to be in sync with their private sector peers especially as there is a mismatch in the remunerations," the official said.
A report on HR practices of public sector banks prepared by a committee headed by Anil Khandelwal, former Bank of Baroda chairman said that there was an acute crunch of talent in state owned banks and there was reluctance in joining a government bank as they failed to provide concrete career growth prospects.
At present, there are about 800,000 employees in public sector banks.