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Working Hours

(Querist) 24 July 2008 This query is : Resolved 
Hello Friends,

Govt of Gujarat has apssed a notification whereby due to power shortage, various industries have been asked to operate for 5 days.

In such a situation, can the employer compensate the additional weekly off by adding the same no of hours to other week days.

Whether such a move will require approval from the labour inspector ?

Whether overtime needs to be paid ?

Thanks & Rgds,
Jaydeep Kurup.
adv.ranchi (Expert) 24 July 2008
It would be better if the said notification is seen.

However, do remember, damages arising out of a legal compulsion is not permissible.


Adv. Ashutosh
adv.ranchi (Expert) 24 July 2008
It would be better if the said notification is seen.

However, do remember, damages arising out of a legal compulsion is not permissible.


Adv. Ashutosh
Jaydeep Kurup (Querist) 25 July 2008
yes. I have ordered for a copy of the notification. But the notification seems to be silent on the same.

My view is that any additional hours beyond the stipulated unless authorised by the labour inspector will require payment of overtime.
ANAND SUMAN (Expert) 26 July 2008
Dear Jaydeep

You can extend your working hours on running days unless the notification put restriction for the same. If the notification is silent on this point, no prior approval is necessary from labour inspector. Provided that:

1. You can not compel any worker for additional work. It will lead to legal penalty.

2. You will have to pay overtime to the workers.

Again it would be better for you if you make agreement with the workers to that effect.

In case of further query, feel free to contact.

Advocate & Legal Consultant
(Founder Director)
WZ- 251, 1st Floor, Gali No. 8
Hanuman Market, Uttam Nagar
New Delhi- 110 059

Mob. 9958330546

Jaydeep Kurup (Querist) 28 July 2008
Thanks Anand.

The notification is silent. If the company does not want to pay overtime, then i think it may have to approach the labour inspector.
H. S. Thukral (Expert) 28 July 2008
No. of hours in a week are prescribed in most of the legislations involving labour. The Factories Act provides for working hours as 48 per week. Employer has to pay overtime if the workers are asked to work beyond that period. You can safely resort to the number of hours working contracted in the appointment letter spread over five days now without paying overtime. Working hours being a condition of service, any change in the same shall require a mandatory notice under section 9 A od the ID Act.
Jaydeep Kurup (Querist) 28 July 2008
Well said.

However the question is whether an agreement can overrule the provisions of the Act being detrimental to the labourers.
H. S. Thukral (Expert) 29 July 2008
Working hours and rest interval is placed in IV Schedule to the Industrial Dispute Act and Section 9-A of the ID Act says that employer shall not change service conditions as placed in this schedule without giving 21 days notice. Now question is if a notification for five days a week working is issued by the Government due to exigency of power shortage, whether the employer would be right in introducing changed working hours giving a go by to the provisions of the ID Act. Similar question arose in TATA IRON AND STEEL CO VS. ITS WORKMEN 1972 LLJ (II) 259 where the weekly off was changed due to power shortage without giving a mandatory notice. The SC held it to be an illegal change. Therefore right course would be either to sign an agreement with the workers to this effect or a notice as required should precede the introduction of revised working hours. I am of the opinion that a notification by state government can not have an over riding effect on central legislation.
Jaydeep Kurup (Querist) 29 July 2008

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