The Factories Act

Concept of Working Hours in Factories Act

Working Hours is nothing but the hours for which the worker or employee under a job. It can be on a daily basis, weekly basis or monthly basis. Earlier, the job description was centered around the pay or the salary. But now since, the quality of the work is also important for the workers, the aspect of working hours plays an important role in deciding to opt for a job or not. In order to protect the workers from the exploitation of the factory owners in respect of working hours, the Factories Act, 1948 states some provisions related to it.

Working Hours

Working Hours Provisions, Under the Factories Act, 1948

Section 51: Weekly Hours

This section lays down the maximum limit on working time for a worker in a factory on a weekly basis. It states that no factory would ask the workers or make them work for more than 48 hours a week.

Section 52: Weekly Holidays

This section states that no adult worker shall be required or allowed to work in a factory on the first day of the week. But this provision applies subject to certain conditions:

(a) Firstly, he has or will have a holiday for the whole day on one of three days immediately before or after the relevant day.
(b) Secondly, the manager of the factory has, before the said day or the substituted day under the clause.

Section 53: Compensatory Holidays

This section states that if in any case, the factory in under any provision cuts-off a holiday of the worker, then the factory is under due pressure to give the same number of holidays to the workers within the time period of two months.

Special Point

The State Government may prescribe the manner in which the holidays will be given

Section 54: Daily Hours

This section is nothing but the extension of Section 51. Keeping in view the weekly working hours limit prescribed by Section 51, this section states the limit on a daily basis. It states that a factory should allow a worker to work for more than 9 hours per day.

Special Point:

The maximum limit can be increased in certain cases after the permission from the Chief Inspector

Section 55: Rest Intervals

This section states that the maximum time for which a worker will work before the interval time period is 5 hours. The interval needs to be of a minimum half an hour, In certain cases, the State Government may exempt some factories from this limitation. In reality, the limitation is not removed but extended to 6 hours only.

Section 56: Spread Over

Looking at the human limitations in working, this section states that the periods of work of an adult worker in a factory including the intervals for rest should not spread over more than 10.5 hours in any day.

Special Point:

The Chief has the power, in writing, to extend the time period to 12 hours a day

Section 57: Night Shifts

This section provides certain clarifications for the questions related to the night shifts. It states that if any worker works after midnight, then the provisions of holidays of Section 52 and Section 53 will be applicable for 24 hours after his shift ends. Moreover, the extra hours after midnight will form part of the previous day only.

Section 59: Overtime and Extra Wages

This section rewards those workers who are trying to work for more than the maximum time. It states that those workers who work for more than 9 hours a day or 48 hours weekly, he/she is entitled to be paid at double wage rate than the ordinary wage rate for the extra time.

The ‘ordinary wage rate’ includes only the basic salary and the allowances. It does not include the bonus and other perks. Moreover, the factories need to maintain proper registers for the datils of the extra time of the workers and the payment made to them.

Section 60: Double Employment

This section states that no worker is allowed or required to work for more than one factory in a day. In other words, if a worker is working in a factory on a day then, he cannot work for another factory on the same day.

Section 61: Notice of Periods of Work for Adults

This section states that the factory manager should paste a notice on the wall of the factory about the time period of the work for the workers.

Moreover, the manager has to comply with the time limiting sections like Section 52. In case the workers don’t have to work at the same time then, the manager should specify the time of their work and the timing of their work.

Section 62: Register of Workers

This section states that the manager of the factory to maintain a register about the details of the workers of the factory.

It includes names of the workers, work nature, specific formal groups of the workers, etc. Moreover, no worker can work in the factory unless his/her name is given in the register.

Solved Question For You

Question: What are the provisions related to the working hours under Section 55 of the Factories Act, 1948?

Answer: This section states the maximum time a worker will work before getting the interval period is 5 hour. And his intervals need to be at least 30 minutes

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