The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016 increasing overtime hours of workers. Amendments were made to two sections of the Factories Act, 1948 which permit the number of overtime hours for employees.
The existing 50 hours per quarter are raised to 100 hours under Section 64 and existing 75 hours per quarter are raised to 125 hours under Section 65.
Section 64 of Factories Act, 1948 - Power to make exempting rules - the total number of hours of overtime shall not exceed fifty for any one quarter.
Section 65 of Factories Act, 1948 - Power to make exempting orders- no worker shall be allowed to work overtime, for more than seven days at a stretch and the total number of hours of overtime work in any quarter shall not exceed seventy-five.
The term Quarter as explained in the act is: "Quarter" means a period of three consecutive months beginning on the 1st of January, the 1st of April, the 1st of July or the 1st of October.
The modifications in the sections were carried out due to the demand made by the factories to work on urgent basis to complete their assignments.
Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its ex-post facto approval for amendment for Sections 64 and 65 of Factories Act, 1948 by introducing the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament.
The new amendments will further empower Centre to make exempting rules and orders related to the overtime hours in a quarter. Earlier only state governments were permitted to provide exempting orders relating to the overtime hours. This revision when applied will ensure uniformity across the country.
Along with this, Centre has authorized itself to make further rules under this act on issues concerning terms and conditions of the workers in a factory. Also special rules regarding fixed working hours, period of rest among others for persons engaged in urgent repair work. The passed Bill will provide boost to the manufacturing sector.
Labour Minister, Bandaru Dattatreya, conveyed to other members that the amendments in the bill are in consonance with the International Labour Organisation’s prescribed limit of 144 hours of overtime.
The Bill will now be introduced in the Rajya Sabha.