5 days Banking Updates
Key Highlights on the Proposed Banking Schedule Changes:
1. Upcoming Decision: By December 2023, over 1.5 million bank professionals might transition to a five-day workweek, a development coinciding with the lead-up to the 2024 general elections.
2. Present Schedule: At present, banking operations, encompassing both public and private institutions, continue on the first and third Saturdays monthly.
3. Legal Amendments: Post endorsement of these amendments, the Negotiable Instruments Act’s Section 25 will classify all Saturdays as official holidays.
4. IBA’s Move: After comprehensive dialogues with worker unions, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has given a nod to the Saturday holiday proposal. This recommendation now awaits the finance ministry’s scrutiny.
5. Government’s Viewpoint: Preliminary indications suggest the government is leaning favorably towards this change. Dialogues with public and private bank leaderships and major industry bodies, such as Ficci and CII, are ongoing to tackle potential apprehensions.
6. Potential Challenges: Some banking authorities have signaled possible challenges to productivity. The broader trade segment is also cautious about disturbances to the regular business and credit channels.
7. Employee Breakdown: The banking sector boasts about 1.54 million workers, with public and private institutions sharing almost equal portions. This count includes staff from niche segments like payment and small finance banks. Moreover, the workforce includes 95,000 individuals in Regional Rural Banks and another 96,000 in the country’s cooperative banks. Proposals suggest RRBs may also adopt the five-day model.
8. Operational Adaptations: With more holidays in sight, banks are strategizing to maintain uninterrupted services nationwide.
9. Adjusting Work Hours: A proposed extension of 45 minutes to the daily operational hours is on the table to compensate for the reduced workweek.