working timings

Marketing communication

All respected lawyers,


Our company is a  stock listed company with NSC as well as BSC. it has claimed a little downward trend in its sales as compared to last year. As an measure they have increased our work timings from 9 am to 6.30, earlier we had 2nd and 4th saturdays off as now we have all of them working. Also they are planning to implement this by only telling every one on verbal basis and no written comunication.  the break time during the day is 1/2 hour from 1-1.30 hrs.

What action can be taked in such a scenario leagally.

It would be great if you give advice and it would help me as well as my hundreds of co- workers.




Your office is in which state. You may refer to the SE Act applicable to your state.

Generically speaking company may keep office timing for 9 hours with break of 1 hour or two tea breaks of 15 min and lunch break of 30 min, thus keeping working hours at 8 hours /day.

Ideally company should compensate for getting duty on holidays/off days.

Employee should mark attendance on all days and maintain record, of breaks allowed during office hours.

Employees can form an IC, Guild, Union, association etc. If employees are member of some trade union, union can take up the matter.

Employees can lodge complaint with local O/o Labor Commissioner, Inspector under SE act who is usually ALC. These authorities are expected to take suo motto notice of such violations implying they should not insist on

If the dip in sales is uniform and universal across all offices it is due to the market conditions.

However employees should also attempt their best and add new customers to keep the revenues intact. Employees should endeavor their best to help the employer/company in such testing times.


SE Act Delhi:

 Sub-section (14)—“working hours”

     The phrase “working hours” or “hours of work” as defined in this sub-section means the time

during which the persons employed are at the disposal of the employer exclusive of any interval

for rest and meals and “hour worked” has a corresponding meaning. The use of the expression,

“at the disposal of the employer” is not without any significance. It indicates that the person so

employed must be available to work and to be under the control or supervision of the employer

during   the   working   hours  and   it   seems  to   be   immaterial   whether   the   person   so   employed   has

worked during the entire working hours or not or whether the employer has taken any work from

him.   The   only   obligation   appears   to   be   that   he   must   remain   at   the   disposal   of   the   employer

throughout the working hours fixed under the Act, excluding of course the time allowed for rest

and meals.

8. Employment of adults, hours of work.—No adult shall be employed or allowed to work

about the business of an establishment for more than nine hours on any day or 48 hours in any

week and the occupier shall fix the daily periods of work accordingly:

     Provided that during any period of stock taking or making of accounts or any other purpose

as may be prescribed, any adult employee may be allowed or required to work for more than the

hours fixed in this section, but not exceeding 54 hours in any week subject to the conditions that

the aggregate hours so worked shall not exceed 150 hours in a year:

     Provided further that advance intimation of at least three days in this respect has been given

in the prescribed manner to the Chief Inspector and that any person employed on overtime shall

be entitled to remuneration for such overtime work at twice the rate of his normal remuneration

calculated by the hour.

     Explanation.—For         the  purpose    of  calculating  the    normal    hourly   wage    the  day   shall   be

reckoned as consisting of eight hours.

10.   Interval   for   rest   and  meals.—(1)   The   period   of     work   of  an   adult  employee   in   an

establishment   each   day   shall   be   so   fixed   that   no   period   of   continuous   work   shall   exceed   five

hours and that no employee shall be required or allowed to work for more than five hours before

he had an interval for rest and meals of at least half an hour.

     (2)   The   time   for   such   interval   shall   be   fixed   by   the   employer   and   intimated   to   the   Chief

Inspector   a   week   before   such fixation   and   shall   remain   operative for   a   period   of   not less  than

three months.


Marketing communication

The pure reason given to us is employee cost justification. and out office in mumbai, maharashtra. If we calculate our "work hours" is 60 hours= 10hrs/ day x 6 days of the week. Al this comes to us as an autocratic decision.

SE Act Bombay:


62. Maintenance of registers and records and display of notices,- Subject to

the    general    or  special   orders   of  the  [State    Government  

maintain      such   registers    and    records    and   display    on   the   premises     of  his

establishment such notices as may be prescribed. All such registers and records

shall be kept on the premises of the establishment to which they relate.


63. Wages   for   overtime  work.-Where   an employee   in   any  establishment   to

which this Act applies is required to work in excess of the limit of hours of work,

he shall be entitled, in respect of the overtime work, wages at the rate of twice his

ordinary rate of wages.



Employer should not hesitate to circulate the policy and rules if any in writing. Gossip and rumor can not be rules.

Marketing communication

@kumar doab: Thank you for the revert, but id like to knwo what action could be taken agaist the employer or  what can be done for the employees benifit. your guidance shal be really helpful.


SE Act applicable to Bombay is enclosed. It also lays down the hours of work per day and week as well as the guidelines for spread-over, rest interval, opening and closing hours, closed days, national and religious holidays, overtime work, etc.
The Inspector and authority under SE act which may be ALC can be approached. A trade union and Labor consultant/service lawyer can also be approached. Trade unions in Maharashtra/Mumbai are quite active and strong. OT/compensation can be claimed. However the company which is citing employee cost justification may find the idea of OT/compensation repelling and may not agree and this may precisely be the reason it is unwilling to issue communication in writing.

Ministry of Labor can be approached;


lt is felt that the reason given by company “employee cost justification.” Does not fit into ILO guidelines and may not be acceptable to Labor Authorities as well.
Defining working hours

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO)1, the standard weekly working hours (excluding overtime) cannot exceed 48 hours per week and eight hours a day. According to the ILO, "the imposition of hours limits was intended to ensure a safe and healthy working environment and adequate rest or leisure time between shifts."2 However, the international guidelines, especially on overtime limits can be confusing and unclear.

The ILO Convention No. 1, on the Hours of Work (Industry) (1919), covering industrial undertakings, i.e. construction, mining, extraction and transport, establishes an eight-hour-day and a 48-hour-week (Article 2). 3

Article 3 of ILO Convention No. 30 on the Hours of Work4 (Commerce and Offices) also stipulates working time of 48 hours a week and eight hours a day. Under this Convention, the maximum amount of working hours can be so "arranged so that hours of work in any day do not exceed ten hours" (Article 3). The Convention covers commercial or trading establishments, those working in administrative services and mixed commercial and industrial establishments.

Both Conventions5 deem working hours exceeding the 48-hour-limit as overtime. Any overtime must be paid at a premium. Convention No. 1 stipulates that the rate of pay for overtime that is determined by "government authorities" must be at least 25% more than normal pay (Article 6(2)).

Overtime as the exception rather than the rule

According to the ILO, overtime is only permitted under exceptional circumstances. There are permanent and temporary exceptions and both are referred to in the above-mentioned conventions as well as the ILO Recommendation 116, on the Reduction of Hours of Work (1962)6 (see discussion on Recommendation 116 below). However, the two Conventions do not explicitly specify any limitations to hours of work on a general level.

Examples of exceptions where working hours may be extended under ILO Convention No. 1 include:

  • When "the nature of the process to be carried on continuously by a succession of shifts" requires it. In this case, average working hours shall not exceed 56 hours a week and shall not affect rest days (Article 4)7
  • In the cases of "force majeure", "but only so far as may be necessary to avoid serious interference" with ordinary operations (Article 3)8
  • In other exceptional cases where these time stipulations cannot be applied. In these cases extended working hours must be agreed by workers' and employer organisations, or regulations set down by the government (Article 6).9

Examples of exceptions where working hours may be extended under ILO Convention No. 30 include:

  • General interruptions at work due to local holidays, accidents or force majeure. In these cases hours can be increased to make up for the hours that are lost. This is as long as the following conditions are met: hours lost can only be redeemed within 30 days in the year; the increased hours shall not exceed one hour in a day; and the daily working hours shall not exceed 10 (Article 5)10
  • In exceptional cases where the nature of the work does not make the standard workweek applicable the permitted hours of work will be determined by a "public authority". That is as long as the average number of hours "over the number of weeks" does not exceed 48 hours in a week and 10 hours in a day (Article 6)11
  • In certain permanent or temporary exceptions laid out in Article 7, such as the type of work (e.g. work that is inherently intermittent or in the case of force majeure. In these cases it is the "public authority" that will determined the working hour limitations. Any rate of pay for additional hours in these cases however, shall not be less than 1.25 the normal rate (Article 7(4)).12

Designation lone does not decide employee is a workman or not. In a given situation employees can invoke ID Act, SE Act, Payment of Wages Act, IESO Act etc as per explanation of employee under these enactments.

It shall be approrpiate to consult an expereinced and competent labor consultant/service lawyer and show your docs and give inputs in person and act under expert advice.




Banks are covered under SE Act as commercial establishments. The office/working hours are displayed outside/inside the bank with lunch break timings.

If the bank has called the staff for selling its products on weekly off then bank should pay as per its well defined policy in line with standing orders and in compliance to the law of the land. Your bank may grant Compensatory Off to be availed with prior information in stipulated time say one month and with sanction of sanctioning authority or double the wages.

Your union office should be in a position to supply you the standing orders, leave policy, compensatory off…..  and negotiated settlements with the bank.

You may look into SE Act applicable to your state.

SE Act Delhi:


2. Definitions.: (5)   “commercial       establishment” …. and   premises   in   which

              business of banking, insurance, stocks



10.   Interval   for   rest   and  meals.

11. Spread over.








these types of employee harrasment, extended hours working and holiday working are a regular thing in HDFC bank. As a part of increasing business and getting more incentives to the seniors they are considering employees like donkies.


Mr. Manoj is right.

It is difficult to understand why employees do not put effort to form communities, unions, Guild, IC’s etc to defend their rights.

Having become a big bank HDFC bank has been resorting to employ staff on contractual terms say for 3 years and these employees are exploited to unimaginable heights. Some of them share that they are ordered to fetch new accounts { average 1/day}by any means and these guys end up opening a/c of all of their relatives/near and dear ones/friends/social circle and they have to sell anything and everything including but not limited to Credit cards, Life insurance, Demat and what not.

If you closely compare you may find that almost all products have charges which are highest in the trade e.g Child Plan {it is easy to compare as now all charges have to be displayed upfront}, Flexi account {nationalized banks shall ask for a balance in saving portion for Rs.10000/ and HDFC a staggering Rs110000/}.

The CC customers of this bank are a suffered lot, as one can make out from various publications.

While taking over other banks HDFC bank shunted out a big number of employees and it is said that majority of the employees have their FNF settlement pending.

This bank is a peculiar example as its MD/CEO Aditya Puri is s aid to have big % of shares, and thus an iron grip on stake holding.

Banks were nationalized to free the citizens/countrymen from clutches of moneylender {Sahukaar} and his musclemen {Lathait}. The regulators/controllers/watchdogs have failed in this purpose. The question arises why??????





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