5 Days Banking – need of the hour -12th Bipartite Settlement
The new labour code is talking about permitting four days working in a week in the country. And the Banking Industry is still dreaming about getting a 5 days banking in week. Bankers are demanding for 5 days working in a week for more than a decade but still remains a distant dream.
- Two Saturdays (2nd and 4th) were declared off in 10th bipartite settlement, signed on the 25 May 2015. This was termed as a great achievement by bank unions, who have been asking for five-day week. Before two Saturdays off, all Saturdays were half day working, as such, technically no benefit was passed on in terms of working hours.
- The demand of bank employees’ is not unreasonable because Central Government and most State Government offices work only five days.
- Forget Central & State Governments, Our regulator, the Reserve Bank of India works only 5 days a week. LIC is also working 5 days only.
- At the time of deciding 2 Saturdays off in 2015, there was an understanding that the outcome of 2 Saturdays off shall be analyzed and a decision to have 5 days banking will be taken in the next bipartite settlement.
- Nothing happened in the 11th bipartite settlement on the 5 days week for bankers as the matter does not seems have been been pitched by the Bank Unions.
- With the advancement of technology, most of the transactions can be processed without physically visiting branches. Since 2015, the banks have developed various alternative delivery channels for delivery of various services and most of the services like, fund transfers, bank statements, cheque book requests, loan applications, cash withdrawal, transaction enquiry, account opening, life certificates etc. are available online without human intervention.
- In the last few years, as the government itself claim that there has been a major shift from a cash-based economy to an electronic one, the 5 days banking demand from bank employees is justified.
- 12th Bipartite Settlement is due from 1st November 2022, however, the Unions are yet to submit a Charter of Demand for the settlement. It is expected that this time Unions will keep the 5 days banking a key issue in the settlement as the demand is coming from all the corners.