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Banks will switch to a five-day workweek starting in December 2023

Banks will switch to a five-day workweek starting in December 2023

The government is speaking with banks and industry management to resolve their worries. The Centre will probably approve a five-day workweek for them by December, which might cheer up the 1.5 million bank employees ahead of the general elections in 2024.

Banks in the public and private sectors are now open on the first and third Saturdays of each month. The government would declare all Saturdays as holidays following Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act upon acceptance of the proposed revisions.

ബാങ്കുകള്‍ക്ക് ഇനി ആഴ്ചയില്‍ ഈ ദിവസങ്ങളിലും അവധി | Five day work week for  banks gets IBA nod


The plan to make every Saturday a holiday for bank personnel was accepted last month by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), the governing body, following protracted discussions between the IBA and employee unions. The idea has been submitted to the finance minister for review by the IBA.

A person knowledgeable of the situation told FE that “the government is generally supportive of the proposal” and that discussions are ongoing to alleviate any concerns with bank management, including private banks and industry organizations like Ficci and CII.

The trade and industry worry their business and credit flows may be disrupted, even though specific bank managements have expressed worries about the impact on their operations and productivity.

The most recent information indicates that there are 1.54 million workers, evenly distributed between public and private sector banks, including payment and small finance institutions.


Separately, around 95,000 people nationwide work for cooperative banks and another 96,000 for regional rural banks. The five-day workweek standard will be extended to RRBs as well.

These institutions may need to take some action to prevent the country’s banking operations from being impacted by the increasing number of vacations.

Banks’ working hours might be extended by 45 minutes daily as part of the agreement for a five-day workweek to compensate for any lost time at the office.

Despite losing two working days each month, India’s lead in digital banking has resulted in a shift in most transactions, such as payments and cash transfers, to mobile and internet banking apps. ATMs may now be used to withdraw and deposit cash.

At the moment, government offices are open five days a week. Life Insurance Corporation of India workers are also available five days a week.

As the calendar rolls over to December 2023, the banking industry is on the verge of a significant transformation. After years of debate and deliberation, there are strong indications that many banks will transition to a five-day workweek from the traditional six-day week. This shift represents a change in the industry’s working culture and speaks volumes about the evolving expectations of employees and customers.

Bank employees may soon get 5-day work week but will have to work longer  hours

Historically, a six-day workweek was standard across many industries, including banking. The roots of this tradition trace back to a time when physical presence was essential for most operations. However, as the digital age has taken hold, the need for banks to remain open six days a week has been questioned.

Several factors have contributed to this paradigm shift:

  • Technological Advancements: With the proliferation of digital banking, customers can now perform most banking operations online, from transferring money to applying for loans. The necessity for physical branches to remain open for extended periods has diminished.
  • Employee Well-being: The global focus on mental health and employee well-being has made organizations more conscious about work-life balance. A five-day workweek is seen as a move that promotes employee satisfaction and reduces burnout.
  • Operational Efficiency: With improved technology, banks have realized that they can achieve the same, if not higher, productivity levels in five days.
  • Competitive Hiring Landscape: As the war for talent intensifies, banks want to offer more attractive working conditions to recruit and retain the best skills.
  • Global Trends: Many global financial hubs have banks operating on a five-day workweek model. This switch can help standardize operations for international banks.

While some customers may need to learn about the convenience of Saturday banking, the majority are already accustomed to digital banking solutions that offer 24/7 services. Moreover, banks might extend weekday hours to accommodate customers who can only visit branches outside regular working hours.

Employees benefit from an enhanced work-life balance, which could lead to increased morale and productivity.

5-day work-week: five cheers for Henry Ford - The Hindu BusinessLine

Banks must restructure certain operations, mainly those dependent on daily processing, to ensure smooth functioning within a five-day framework.

Operating physical branches is expensive. By closing branches one additional day each week, banks might realize significant cost savings regarding utilities, staff overtime, and other operational costs.

While many customers use online banking, some still prefer face-to-face interaction. Banks must communicate effectively about the change and offer expanded services on weekdays.

Any significant change comes with its set of challenges. Banks will need to manage the transition to avoid any disruptions carefully.

Some roles, particularly in customer service, might see shifts in work patterns. Banks will need to manage these changes delicately to ensure employee satisfaction.

Why not a 5-day week for banks? - The Hindu BusinessLine

The move to a five-day workweek by banks in December 2023 marks a significant cultural and operational change in the industry. While challenges are anticipated, the switch could lead to a more efficient, employee-friendly, and customer-centric banking environment.

As the world continually evolves, so must the institutions that play a pivotal role in our daily lives. This change is just one step in the banking industry’s ongoing journey of adaptation and evolution.



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