State government staff to work five days a week from February 29Updated: Feb 13, 2020 00:09 IST
In a move that is set to benefit around 10-12 lakh Maharashtra government employees,the state cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for the five-day working week system, starting February 29.
However, employees will have to work for an additional 45 minutes every day to compensate for the two additional holidays every month. According to the current rules, staffers have a five-day working week twice a month, with every second and fourth Saturday being given as a holiday.
Under the new system, employees would have to report to work at 9.45am and leave only at 6.15pm. As per the existing system, they are allowed to leave office at 5.30pm.
“The state cabinet has approved the five-day week formula for all the state employees. To increase the work efficiency, the employees have also been asked to take a lunch break for only 30 minutes, once the new system is implemented ,” said an official from the state general administration department.
The new work regime will however, be not be applicable for essential services such as fire brigade, police, hospitals, as well as schools and colleges.
With the decision in place, state employees will get eight days off in a month, on the lines of the system followed for the central government employees.
State employees have been demanding for the implementation of the five-day working week formula for the past several years. On February 4, in a meeting with Maharashtra State Gazetted Officers’ Confederation (MSGOC) representatives, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray assured to introduce five-day working week.
Vinod Desai, MSGOC’s president has welcomed the decision and said with the five-day formula in place, employees would be working more than the existing system.“The move will benefit around 10-12 lakh officers and other employees. We had recommended that an additional 45 minutes of work must be clocked every day from the eight hours of work done by each employee. Once the new system is implemented, we will be working two additional hours every month, as compared to the existing system. The chief minister was convinced with the idea”, said Desai.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in the Opposition in the state, has also welcomed the move but said the government must ensure efficiency. “It was a long-pending demand and we welcome the decision. However, the government needs to see how efficiently employees work in a five-day week,” BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said.