Provision of hours of works and holidays under the factory act

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Q-5      Discuss the provision of hours of works and holidays under the factory act.


Regarding the working hours for a child, Section 54 has made it clear that a child shall not be allowed to work in a factory for more than five hours on any day.

No adult worker or a child shall be allowed to work in any factory on any day on which he has already worked in another factory (Section 48)

For children and adolescents the age is fixed as given in the definition. Besides the age restriction, there are special provisions which make It compulsory that a child and an adolescent, inspire of attaining the required age can not be allowed to work in a factory without obtaining a fitness certificate from a certifying surgeon. This certificate is to remain in the procession of the manager of the factory. When a child or an adolescent is at work he carries with him a token, which gives a reference to the fitness certificate.

In case children are employed in a factory the manager of that factory shall maintain a register of child workers showing the name and age of the child, the nature of his work, the group in which he is included and the number of his certificate of fitness.

The span of time during which children and adolescent can be allowed to work is from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., which clearly means that they cannot work in night shifts. Like adults, children and adolescents are also restricted to perform double duty. They are not allowed to work in a factory for pressing cotton in a place where it cotton opener is at work. They cannot be allowed to oil or clean the machines.

The restrictions imposed upon child workers are also applied in the case of women workers; the only difference lies in the number of working hours for women, which is nine hours in a day like adult male workers.



In every factory there shall be displayed and correctly maintained notice of period for work for adult showing clearly the periods which adult workers are required to work. Such periods shall be fixed before hand and as follows:

a)      Where all adult workers are required to work within the same periods, the manager shall fix those periods.

b)      Where all workers are not required to work for the same period, the manager shall classify them into groups.

c)      Where a group is not required to work on a system of shift, the manager shall fix the period within which the group may be required to work.

d)      Where a group is required to work on a system of shift, and relay are not to change shifts the manger shall fix the period for each relay will work.

e)      Where a group works on a system of shift and relay are to change, the manager shall draw up a scheme of shift working.



An adult worker shall not be allowed to work whole day in any factory on any day on which he has already been working in any other factory except under specified circumstances.



It appears from a reading of Section 34 and 36 that an employer is not allowed to force any worker to work for more than the hours fixed. However, Section 47 provides that in a non-seasonal factory, if a worker works for more than 9 hours on any day or 48 hours in any week he will be entitled to overtime payment at double the rate. In the presence of this provision a question arises whether it is quiet optional for the worker to work overtime and whether he has a right to refuse to work overtime.

An answer to the aforesaid question is found in Section 47A which lays down that an adult worker may be required to-work overtime which means that worker has no option to refuse to work overtime without a just cause. It is obligatory on the worker to work overtime whenever he is so required.



Beside weekly holidays on Sunday every worker is entitled to get leave for fourteen consecutive says. This leave is only available to those workers who have completed continuous twelve months service; this leave will be granted with full pay. The period of continuous twelve months of service shall be deemed to have been completed even if there are interruptions due to sickness, accident and authorized leave, which in any case should not have exceeded ninety days. If there is a lockout, which may be legal or illegal, the allowed interruption is unlimited. In the case of strike, which is legal, the interruption without any limit of period will not affect the completion of the required twelve months’ service. If there is involuntary unemployment which does mot exceed 30 days, the interruption will also not affect the twelve months continuous service i.e. It will be regarded a continuous service for the employment is concerned if it is with breaks and does not exceed 30 days in all it will not affect the leave entitlement. In case it is continuous the worker will not be entitled to the authorized leave. Beyond this if the interruption exceeds even by a day, the yearly leave entitlement will be lost.



The Provisions of the Factories Act with regard to hours of work are as under:



An adult worker shall not be required or allowed to work in a factory for more than 9 hours on any day. But a male worker in a seasonal factory may work 10 hours in a day.



An adult worker shall not be required or allowed to work in a factory for more than 48 hours in a week. But an adult worker may:

a)      Be allowed to work in a seasonal factory for not more than 50 hours in a week.

b)      In a factory where work due to technical reasons should be continuous throughout the day may work for 56 hours a week.

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