India’s banking sector has formally proposed declaring all Saturdays as official holidays, according to confirmation from the Union Finance Ministry in Parliament today.
Responding to queries about the Indian Banks Association (IBA) seeking the implementation of a five-day work week, Minister of State for Finance, Bhagwat Karad, affirmed that the IBA had indeed submitted a proposal to this effect.
Since 2015, banks in India have observed public holidays on the second and last fourth Saturdays of every month. The demand for a five-day work week has been a prolonged one, particularly from public banks.
The IBA represents a broad spectrum of banks in India, including public and private banks, foreign banks with a presence in India, cooperative banks, regional rural banks, and all Indian financial institutions. The banking sector employs over 1.5 million individuals.
The response from the finance ministry did not specify whether the proposal had been accepted or if it might be considered in the near future.
If approved, the transition to a five-day work week could potentially be accompanied by extended working hours during the operational days, as suggested by sources familiar with the matter.
The proposed change, if implemented, is poised to reshape the banking industry’s operational landscape, with implications for both employees and customers.