Exceptional times, exceptional measures: Govt set to allow longer shifts in factories
New Delhi, Apr 11: The Government is likely to change a law introduced in 1948 to allow longer shifts in factories. This is aimed at helping factories cope with fewer workers and higher demand owing to the ongoing lockdown.
The change in the law will allow companies to extend their daily shift from the current 8 hours a day, 6 days a week to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. This would be possible once the Factories Act of 1948, Section 51 is amended.
According to the section, no adult worker shall be allowed or required to work in a factory for more than 48 hours in a week.
The government feels that these are exceptional times and would need exceptional measures. The government feels that the demand for essentials such as food and medicine is pushing for the amendments to allow up to 12 hours of daily shifts as opposed to the existing 8 hours.
Several senior officials are backing this move and say that it is the need of the hour. Since workers would put in more hours, this will also ensure that they are paid more. Further, it would also ensure lesser physical movement of a large number of workers and restrictions, officials feel.
The Act provides for an overtime option but restricts such overtime to a maximum of 120 hours over three months. This amendment could also ensure higher earnings for the worker and reduce the requirement of workers by around 33 per cent.