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Will Indians have to work 12 hours a day?

By Ishaan Gera
December 31, 2021 09:39 IST
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India's time use survey for January-December 2019 had found that an average person in urban areas spends 485 (eight hours and five minutes) minutes on employment and related activities.

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Police officers at a call centre in Lucknow run by the Uttar Pradesh state police. Photograph: Pawan Kumar/Reuters
 

Earlier this year, the UAE announced that it would reduce the workweek to 4.5 days to align with the global standards.

While India is yet to bring out its labour codes, there is speculation that India will reduce the workweek to four days.

However, work time will increase to 12 hours, limiting the number of working hours a week to 48 hours.

The Factory Act, 1948, mandates a 48-hour working week in India, but it stipulates that a person cannot work more than nine hours in a day.

Recently, the Chilean presidential race winner, Gabriel Boric, announced that he shall bring down the workweek to 40 hours.

In 2000, France had instituted a 35-hour workweek, reducing it from 39 hours.

Famous economist John Maynard Keynes had predicted a world where a 15-hour workweek would be the norm.

Data from Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that Colombia and Turkey have the highest average workweek, whereas most European countries have less than 40-hour workweek.

People in Asia tend to work more than the rest of the world, and workers in the US spend more time on work than their European counterparts.

Although the OECD does not include India data, the International Labour Organisation found that India was among the worst five economies with an average working time of 48 hours a week.

An average Colombian worker spends 47.6 hours per week, a Turkish worker spends 45.6 hours, whereas a Mexican worker spends 44.7 hours per week.

Further analysis by Business Standard shows that average hours worked on a job had increased in the US, the UK and OECD countries compared to a decade ago.

India's time use survey for January-December 2019 had found that an average person in urban areas spends 485 (eight hours and five minutes) minutes on employment and related activities.

In contrast, rural people spent 404 minutes (six hours and 44 minutes).

The average time spent across rural and urban areas was seven hours and nine minutes.

Men spent more time on employment and related activities than women.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com

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Ishaan Gera
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