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Bank employees press for five-day week

The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) is reconsidering a long-standing demand from employee unions to have five-day week work schedule. IBA had commissioned a study to evaluate the pros and cons of keeping banks shut on Saturdays and it will place the findings before the new government. The central government had earlier rejected such a proposal on the argument that the public’s perception of state-run banks would be further hit. The staff unions say the extra working hours affecting the health and productivity of staffers. According to C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association, five-day week schedule is already available in the international banking system as also at the Reserve Bank of India, central and state governments, and companies in the public sector and it should be introduced in the banking industry. Unions say such a move is unlikely to affect customer service as alternative channels of delivery – such as ATMs, net banking and phone banking – will allow individuals to conduct banking transactions on weekends.

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