Dopt rejects 6-day week schedule amid protests from women
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) will soon inform Parliament that the government is not going back to a six-day week for its employees, even as a senior representative of the central government employees said that women employees were biggest opponents of any such change by the new government.
A senior DoPT official told ET on Tuesday that all individual ministries would be advised that before they ask employees to come to work on Saturdays, they were expected to first consult the Joint Consultative Machinery set up in each ministry which has representatives from the staff side before implementing the same. There was confusion among government ranks last week after the road ministry issued an order asking employees to report to work on all Saturdays except the second. The same was apparently withdrawn after women employees in the ministry took it up with transport minister Nitin Gadkari.
Employees in many other ministries have also been asked informally to report to work on Saturdays in case senior officials or the respective minister is in office. ET has learnt that DoPT will soon inform Parliament that the government would continue to work 5-days-a-week to end all speculation on this as it has received questions on the same from MPs.
Shiva Gopal Mishra, Secretary (staff side) of the National Council, JCM, told ET that “no government ministry can enforce six-day week on employees without the concurrence of the DoPT.”Not just DoPT’s concurrence, the government also needs to consult employees on the same through the JCM mechanism.
There will be no use of going back to a six-day week system as it will only raise electricity costs of the government. Also, women employees form a sizeable proportion of the workforce and they are strongly against any move to resort to a six-day week,” Mishra, who is also general secretary, All India Railwaymen’s Federation, told ET.
Most women employees use the weekend for pending household chores. The JCM, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, is a joint group of various staff unions of central government employees supposed to act as a platform for constructive dialogue between the representatives of the staff side and the official side for peaceful resolution of all disputes.