At present, banks observe a holiday on every second and fourth Saturday of the month. If the proposal for a 5-day work week for bank employees is accepted, it is likely to increase their work hours, and possibly the operational hours of banks for customers.
In October, TOI had reported that state-owned and long-standing private banks are in discussions regarding a potential 15% pay raise for their employees, coupled with plans to implement a five-day work week.
The Indian Banks’ Association suggested the 15% increase, but unions are pressing for a higher raise along with other alterations. Certain banks, including PNB, have already begun allocating more funds for the wage hike. PNB, based in Delhi, has set aside finances expecting a 15% rise, an increase from the previously budgeted 10%, during the September quarter.
Employees and unions argue that banks have witnessed considerable profit growth in recent years. They emphasize the substantial efforts employees have invested in steering the lenders back on course, particularly amidst the challenges posed by Covid and the advocacy of government schemes. Consequently, they seek improved compensation. The finance ministry is closely monitoring these negotiations, the report said.
With the upcoming general elections, there’s an expectation that the wage settlement will be reached before then, given that bank employees form a significant voter base. The last wage settlement in 2020 was concluded after three years of negotiation.