Every office or business premise needs to set its working hours. Any time in excess of these working hours is known as Overtime. The average work week for an adult in India is 45-50 hours. But it varies with the Act governing the workplace. Moreover, legal provisions are different in the case of young persons. The term young persons include both adolescents as well as children. The maximum numbers of hours varies for children and adolescents. For example, a child cannot work for more than four and a half hours each day. Further, a female child age cannot work between 7:00 PM and 8:00 AM. On the other hand, a medical practitioner decides an adolescent’s working hours after giving a certificate of fitness.
Legal Provisions in Case of Overtime
There are several Acts in India that regulate work conditions in different establishments. The maximum number of normal working hours as per these Acts is given below:
9 hours a day and 48 hours per week under the Factories Act, 1948.
10 hours a day (with overtime) under the Mines Act, 1952.
10 hours a day and 54 hours per week (with overtime) under Bidi and Cigar Workers Act, 1966.
9 hours a day and 54 hours per week (with overtime) under Plantation Workers Act, 1951.
6 hours per day for day shift and 5 1/2 hours per night shift (without overtime) under the Working Journalists Act, 1955.
Moreover, some Acts such as the Factories Act prohibit an employer to employ a female worker between 7:00 PM and 6:00 AM. There may be some relaxation in certain cases. But, this time limit cannot vary beyond 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM.
What are the benefits Available?
First of all, some employers may require their employees to work overtime on occasion. The employment agreement usually contains a clause to this effect. However, the employer in no situation can force the employee to work overtime. Also, if an employee works beyond the normal hours, he is eligible for certain benefits. Under most Acts, the employee will be eligible to receive double amount of wages for extra hours of work.
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