Plea against Five-day Working Week before the High Court

Team SoOLEGAL 3 Mar 2020 5:22pm

Plea against Five-day Working Week before the High Court

After the Maharashtra government declared five-day work week for most of its employees as of Feb 29, a Solapur social worker & businessman moved to the Bombay HC on Friday challenging the state's decision on the ground that it discriminates among government employees.

Solapur resident Mahesh Gadekar filed a public interest litigation seeking to quash the state's circular released on Feb 24.

The circular had announced that state employees will have to chip in on five working days for 45 extra minutes from Feb 29 but will get two offs, instead of one, each week.

Gadekar also tried to guide the court to audit each department's pending works in a time-bound manner before enforcing the 5-day week policy.

The state has more than 20 lakh employees in govt, semi-government & local bodies

The new rule does not apply to offices covered by the Factory Regulations, Industrial Disputes Act & those offering essential services such as police, fire brigade, government colleges and sanitation department.

The petition, filed through advocate Vinod Sangvikar, claimed that while all govt offices, including BMC, will follow the new working hours in Mumbai, it will not apply to those providing essential services, including hospitals, pharmacies, police, jails, fire brigade and water supply. It added that while government employees who work six days a week were unable to complete pending work, the situation would be exacerbated by a 5 day week.

The appeal mentioned “Already, government employees get many holidays, half days, sick leaves, etc. They have half-an-hour lunch break, which turns into one hour. Later in the evening, they have tea break. So, there is no need to have holiday on every Saturday, because they already have holidays on every alternate Saturday.”

It added that the government sets a bad precedent, as no official will be available to contact given the 24-hour online services. On Mar 5 the HC will hear the appeal.

The five-day work week also extends to all of Maharashtra's central government employees.

There is also a five-day work week for states like Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Delhi, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal.

Tagged: Maharashtra government   High Court   Bombay HC   advocate Vinod Sangvikar     
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