Are you working overtime? Know these Laws

  • Overtime working is a very common thing in a corporate sector. Whether it is to meet the deadline or because of a demanding work or you simply wish to influence your management team that you are working hard, you agree to work for fifteen hours a day or so and forgo anything resembling a normal life. Working overtime refers to time in excess of one’s regular working hours. In India, a normal working hour constitute 8-9 hours per day and 48 hours per week. Generally, if someone is working more than the normal working hours, one is eligible to get compensated for the same.

    In many Employment Agreement it is normally stated that an employee must work for extra hours as required by the company. Working overtime must be on the discretion of an employee, not forced down by an agreement.

    Laws governing Overworking Schedules

    There are several Acts governing overtime and over payment. Generally, the working hours stated by Factories Act, 1948 is taken as a typical period.  According to Section 59 of the Act, no one is supposed to work beyond 8-9 hours per day and according to Section 51, no is supposed to work for more than 48 hours in a week.
    There are several other laws governing Overtime working in India, such as –

    Minimum Wages Act,1948

    Under Sec. 33 it is mentioned that for overtime wages are to be paid at the rate of twice the ordinary rates of wages of the worker. The employer can take actual work on any day up to 9 hours in a 12 hours shift, but he must pay double the rates for any hour or part of an hour of actual work in excess of nine hours or for more than 48 hours in any week.
    Sec. 14 of the Act, any worker whose minimum rate of wages are fixed with wage period of time, such as by hour, by the day or by any such period and if a worker works more than that number of hours, it is considered to be overtime. In case if the number of hours constituting a normal working day exceeds the given limit, then the employer will have to pay him for every hour or for part of an hour for which he has worked in excess at the overtime rate.

    Mines Act, 1952

    Under Sec. 28 to 30 of the Act, no person employed in a mine shall be required or allowed to work in the mine for more than 10 hours in any day inclusive of overtime.

    Bidi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966

    Sec. 17 & 18 of the Act, stipulates that the period of work including overtime work should not exceed 10 hours in a day and 54 hours in a week.

    Plantation Labour Act, 1951

    According to section 19, where an adult worker works in any plantation on any day in excess of the number of hours constituting a normal working day or for more than 48 hours in any week, he/she shall, in respect of such overtime work, be entitled to twice the rates of ordinary wages. Provided that no such worker shall be allowed to work for more than 9 hours on any day and more than 54 hours in any week.

    Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment Service) Act, 1996

    According to 28 & 29 of the Act, it is mentioned that worker who is working overtime will be paid Overtime wages at the rate of twice the ordinary rate of wages.

    Women and Overtime Working hours

    Section 66 of the Factories Act, 1948 imposes restriction on employment of women to work between 7.00 pm to 6.00 am. However, this can be relaxed by Chief Inspector, but if the relaxation done exceeds the normal period of Working hours, they are to be paid for overtime hours and they are not permitted to work between 10.00 pm to 5.00 am.
    In case they are required to work beyond 10 pm, it is mandatory to provide for special arrangement for the protection of the female employees working before 6 AM and after 8.30 PM, including transport facility. Arrangement of lockers and rest room should be made available for all female employees and they cannot be asked to come for night shift for more than 15 days.


    Send a legal notice for recovery of dues from employer @ Rs. 1999/- only

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    These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer

    These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.

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