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COVID-19 lockdown: Karnataka allows factories to extend working hours

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Bengaluru, May 23: Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the Karnataka government on Friday issued a notification allowing factories to extend working hours up to 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week till August 21.

Karnataka allows factories to extend working hours

The extension of work hours is from the current eight hours a day and 48 hours a week.

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"In exercise of powers conferred under Section 5 of Factories Act, 1948 (Act No.63 of 1948), the Government of Karnataka is pleased to order that all the factories registered under Factories Act, 1948 shall be exempted from the provisions of Section 51 (weekly hours) and Section 54 (daily hours), and with effect from 22-05-2020 to 21-8-2020," the notification said.

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    It, however, has laid certain conditions, under which, no adult worker shall be allowed or required to work in a factory for more than 10 hours in any day and sixty hours in any week.

    Provisions of Section 59 regarding overtime wages shall continue to be applicable without any change, it said.

    Several states have already extended working hours aimed at helping industries.

    The move by the Karnataka government to extend working hours has come amid speculations that it was mulling over amending some labour laws aimed benefiting industries whose operations have taken a hit because of COVID-19 lockdown.

    According to reports, the government is considering amending the Industrial Disputes Act and the Contract Labour Act.

    Also, deliberations were taking place regarding increasing overtime in factories from 75 hours per quarter to 100 hours.

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