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ILO Report Says Indians Earn The Least Even When They Work The Longest

. 3 min read . Written by Siddhesh Suman
ILO Report Says Indians Earn The Least Even When They Work The Longest

The latest report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), has found that the Indian workforce earns the least, even when it works the longest hours, with almost no time for leisure. 

The Indian workforce on average spends around 48 hours per week working, falling short of countries like Gambia, Mongolia, Maldives, and Qatar (where a quarter of the population is Indian) reports Livemint

The ILO reports further finds that in China an average worker works for 46 hours a week, 36 hours in the United Kingdom, and 37 hours in the United States.

Indians with long working hours are also the ones who earn the lowest income according to a report by the Global Wage Report 2020-21.

The report ranked countries based on their gross monthly minimum wage levels, 2019 (Purchasing Power Parity values). According to the report, an average Indian earns only about $215, which is only about Rs 15, 823 a month. 

Another interesting point mentioned in this report is that among all the Indian workers, the well-paid or salaried employees of urban areas are the ones who work more as compared to those in rural areas. It also says that men are working longer in both rural and urban India. Reported by The Wire.

CategoryMen Women
 Rural self-employed48 Hrs37 Hrs
Rural regular waged52 Hrs44 Hrs
Rural casual labour45 Hrs39 Hrs
Urban self-employed55 Hrs39 Hrs
Urban salaried employees53 Hrs46 Hrs
Urban casual labour45 Hrs38 Hrs

The above data only shows the estimates for the working hours. These include working, breaks, time spent travelling to different work locations, but it doesn’t include time spent commuting to and fro from work. The estimate includes workers from both the formal and informal sector.

The Time Survey reveals that the Indian workforce spend less than one-tenth of their day on leisure and rejuvenation.

It also estimates that self-employed and salaried workers spend 6 days of a week on work-related tasks.  It further reveals that women receive less time than men for leisure and relaxation. 

In September 2020 the centre enacted 4 new labour codes. There have been discussions between employers and the Ministry of Labour on the possibility of a 4-day workweek. The government has received the first set of comments from the stakeholder and has published a draft in January. They are waiting on the second set and the draft is expected to be published sometime soon. 

 According to a report by LiveMint, the labour unions are opposing the 4-day work week idea because that would lead to instituting 12-hour shifts a day in accordance with the existing 48 hours of work per week. However, these fixed working hours and labour codes are only directed towards the formal workforce and are not applicable to the informal workforce. 

The ILO report reveals a lot of eye-opening information and facts about the current toxic work environment in our country. It’s unclear how effective the new code of 4 day work week would work out because there are chances a deduction in one day would lead to an increase in the number of working hours. One thing is clear that a change is much needed and something needs to be done soon.

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