Get to Know India’s Overtime Laws Better

Overtime work is a norm in India. Overtime means the time worked in excess of an employee’s regular working hours. In India, regular working hours is 8 to 9 hours per day or 48 to 50 in a week, which depends upon the company an employee is employed under.

If an employee works for more than said regular working hours, he or she may be eligible to get compensation for that period twice his or her normal wage.

Overtime Laws in India

Over decades, a number of laws have been enacted upon overtime and overtime payment, and various Acts have been provided for a different period of working hours in India.

Factories Act, 1948

Under this act, the working hours prescribed is considered as a standard period. According to Section 51 of the said act, an employee is not supposed to work for more than 48 hours in a week, while under the Section 59, not more than 9 hours in a day. The time an employee worked in excess to said 48 hours and 9 hours respectively shall fall under overtime as mandated by the act and would require the employer to pay the worker such wages at the rate which is twice the regular wage.

Minimum Wages Act, 1948

Under the Section 14 of the said act, it was stated that an employee’s minimum wage is fixed for a certain period of time, and when the employee works for more than the regular period, he or she has to be compensated for that excess time he or she has worked, at an overtime rate.

Mines Act, 1952

Section 22 of the said act stated that if any mine worker works for more than 9 hours above the ground and more than 8 hours below in a day, or works for more than 48 hours in a week, whether above or below the ground, the miner is entitled to be compensated at the rate of twice his regular wage for the excess time he has worked. Moreover, the act only allows an employee to work for a maximum of 10 hours in a day inclusive of overtime as mandated under its Section 36.

Bidi and Cigar Workers (Condition of Employment) Act, 1966

As mandated under the Section 17 and 18 of the said act, no one shall work for more than 10 hours in a day and 54 hours in a week inclusive of overtime as well.

Plantation Labor Act, 1951

Similar to the previous act of Bidi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act of 1966, if an employee works for more than the usual number of hours, he is to be entitled for an overtime pay. Also, an employee shall be allowed to work for more than 9 hours in a day and 54 hours in a week at any circumstance.

Overtime Law for Women and Children of India

Factories Act, 1948

The said act limits the employment of women between 7:00 PM and 6:00 AM that can be relaxed by the Chief Inspector of factories in some circumstances. In case the relaxation done exceeds the usual period of working hours, a woman employee has to be paid the overtime. Even said relaxation is time bound, that is a woman, in no case may be required to work between 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM.

Moreover, under the same act, Section 75 mandates that no child below 14 years of age shall be employed in any factory, and children above 14 who are eligible to work in a factory shall not be allowed to work for more than 4 ½ hours in a day and shall not be working between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM, and most especially, girl children shall not be allowed to work in any factory except between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

Other Things an Employee Should Know

In many instances, it is often indicated in many employment agreements that the employee must or may be required to work overtime. However, employees must be aware that working overtime should not be forced through employment agreement, it shall be voluntary. Only the employee shall have the sole right to decide whether he wants to do overtime work or not.

In a special instance wherein an employer asks for overtime to meet a sudden increase in demand, that is still conventional, but even if that is the case, the employee shall not be forced to do overtime work.

Also, every companies and establishments shall keep a record of overtime containing the details of the worker, the excess time he or she has given to work as well as the computation of overtime work.