Indians work the longest but earn the least: Report



Indians work longer than their global counterparts but earn one of the lowest minimum wages, an analysis of the data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) shows.

On average, Indians work 48 hours a week, clocking longer hours than workers in only four countries—Gambia, Mongolia, Maldives, and Qatar (where a quarter of the population is Indian), a Mint report that looked into the ILO data said.

According to the Global Wage Report 2020-21: Wages and Minimum Wages in the Time of COVID-19, Indians earn some of the lowest minimum wages in the world.

The ILO report ranked countries according to gross monthly minimum wage levels, 2019 (Purchasing Power Parity values). Indians earn $ 215 (about Rs 15, 823) a month, higher only than Bangladeshis.

“Globally, the median value of gross minimum wages for 2019 is

equal to $ 486 PPP per month, meaning that half of the countries in the world have minimum wages set lower than this amount and half have minimum wages set higher,” the ILO said in the report.

“In Asia and the Pacific, the median value of the monthly minimum wage is US$ 381 (PPP), with values ranging from US$ 48 (PPP) in Bangladesh to US$ 2,166 (PPP) in Australia,” the report said.

In India, self-employed and salaried men in urban areas worked longer hours a week than their rural counterparts, Mint reported, citing data from the 2018-19 Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS).

Self-employed men in urban areas work 55 hours a week, while those in rural areas work 48 hours.

The report also said Indians spent very little time on rest and relaxation, which hurts work-life balance. Indians spend less than a tenth of their day on leisure activities, with women getting less time than men for leisure, said the report, citing the survey data.

In its new labour code, the Centre proposes to allow companies a four-day workweek but with 48 workhours a week remaining sacrosanct, which can translate to a 12-hour shift.