The Centre on Monday said that the new labour codes, which are set to be implemented soon, will allow companies to reduce the number of working days per week to four, The Hindu reported.

Labour and Employment Secretary Apurva Chandra said at a press briefing that states are in the process of framing draft rules. He added that Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh will have their drafts ready this week.

The official said that the 48-hour weekly limit on working hours will continue. Employers will have the choice to make the employees work for 12 hours per day for four days a week, about 10 hours for five days and eight hours for six.

“It [the working days] could come down below five,” Chandra was quoted as saying by News18. “If it is four, then you have to provide three paid holidays…so if it has to be a seven day week, then it has to be divided into 4 or 5 or 6 working days.”

Chandra said that the Centre was not forcing employers to introduce changes. “It [the change] gives flexibility,” he added. “It’s an enabling provision in sync with the changing work culture. We have tried to make some changes. We have tried to give flexibility in working days.”

The government also announced that employees will be provided free medical check-up through the Employees State Insurance Corporation. The employer will not have to bear this cost.

The Centre is also planning to launch a portal for the unorganised labour this year. “The portal will collect relevant information on gig, building and construction workers, among others,” the government said. “It will help to formulate Health, Housing, Skill, Insurance, Credit and food schemes for migrant workers.