Are you working overtime? Know these Laws!

June 25, 2019
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

Ever slept in the Office working overtime? Wanting to reach the company target or have loads of pending work to complete? 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 the 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.

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Working overtime refers to the time in excess of one’s regular working hours. In India, normal working hours 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 compensation for the same.

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

Laws governing Overworking Schedules

There are several Acts governing overtime and overhead payment. The laws that concern your overtime working hours and payment regarding the same are shared as follows:

Factories Act, 1948
Generally, the working hours stated by the 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 48-50 hours in a week.

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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 an 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 is 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.

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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 a worker who is working overtime will be paid overtime wages at the rate of twice the ordinary rate of wages.

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Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970
As per Rule 79 of the Act, it is compulsory for every contractor to maintain a Register of Overtime which shall contain all details relating to overtime calculation, hours of extra work, the name of the employee, etc.

Working Journalist (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955
As per Rule 10 of the Act, it is mentioned that a working journalist who works for more than 6 hours on any day in day shift and more than 5½ hours in night shift shall be compensated with rest hours equal to hours for which he/she has worked overtime.

Women and Overtime Working hours

Section 66 of the Factories Act, 1948 imposes a restriction on the 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.

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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. The arrangement of lockers and restroom should be made available for all female employees and they cannot be asked to come for night shift for more than 15 days.


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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