The Union Labor Ministry has proposed to increase the maximum working hours to 12 in a day. This provision has been introduced in the draft of the rules framed under the Professional Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH) Code 2020, in which intervals given during work have also been considered as part of working hours. The OSH Code was approved by Parliament this year.
However, the proposal to increase the working hours could see heavy opposition in the coming days, as the OSH code approved by the Parliament set a maximum of 8 hours of work in a day.
In order to avoid the same opposition, the Ministry of Labor has notified the maximum weekly working limit of 48 hours in the draft rules notification issued on 19 November. In this situation, the maximum work for the remaining six days, except for a weekly holiday, is 8 hours per day. This new labor code will replace the existing 13 central labor laws in the country.
According to a senior Labor Ministry official, this decision has been taken keeping in mind the climatic conditions in different parts of the country. Also, this will allow workers to earn extra overtime allowance.
"We have made adequate provisions in the draft rules so that workers can get overtime for more than 8 hours of work," he said.
The draft rules of the OSCH Code also provide for the addition of between 15 to 30 minutes of overtime by counting 30 minutes. Less than 30 minutes are not considered overtime-eligible in the current rule.
Draft rules prohibit any employee from working continuously for more than 5 hours. Instructions to give employees a rest of half an hour after every five hours are also included in the draft rules.