An Introduction to Overtime in India

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By A&A LAW

Overtime refers to the time worked in excess of ones’ regular working hours which, in India, is eight to nine hours per day and forty eight to fifty hours per week, depending upon the establishment one is employed under. If a person works for longer than the regular working hours, that person is eligible to receive remuneration for that period, which will be twice the persons’ normal wage.

Overtime Laws in India

Several statutes regulate overtime and overtime payment, and different legal acts provide for respectively different periods of working hours. However, the working hours prescribed under the Factories Act, 1948 is taken as a standard period. Under Section 51 of the Factories Act, employees are not supposed to work for more than 48 hours in a week, and under section 59, for not more than nine hours a day. The time worked in excess of these 48 hours per week and nine hours per day will be counted as overtime under the Act, and will require the employer to pay workers twice the standard wage.

Section 14 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 states that after an employee is paid his or her minimum wage for a fixed period, they are required to be paid extra as an overtime rate.

Under section 33 of the Mines Act, 1952 if any mine worker works for more than nine hours above the ground and more than eight hours below it in a day or works for more than 48 hours in a week anywhere, whether above or below, he or she is entitled to be paid twice the ordinary wage for the extra time that was worked. Also, the act does not allow anyone to work for more than ten hours in a day, inclusive of overtime under Section 36.

Under section 17 and 18 of the Bidi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966, no one is to work for more than ten hours a day and fifty-four hours a week, including overtime. Similarly, under the Plantation Labour Act, 1951, if one works for more than the normal number of hours, he or she is to get overtime wages.

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Overtime Laws for Women and Children

The Factories Act, 1948 restricts the employment of women between 7:00 pm and 6:00 am, which can be relaxed by the Chief Inspector of factories in certain cases. If such a relaxation of stipulated working hours exceeds the normal period of working hours, employees will be eligible for overtime compensation. Even then, this relaxation is still time sensitive, that is, women cannot be required to work between 10:00 pm to 05:00 am.

Under the same Act, Section 75 specifies that no child below 14 years of age can be employed in any factory. A child above fourteen who is eligible to work in a factory cannot be allowed to work for more than four and a half hours in a day and cannot work between 10:00 pm and 6:00am. In addition, a female child is not allowed to work in any factory, except between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm.

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Further Observations

It is seen that in many employment agreements, there is a clause, which states that the workers must/may be required to work overtime. However, working overtime should be voluntary and not forced through an agreement. It should be the employee who should decide whether they want to do overtime or not.

Where the employer asks for overtime, it should generally be in special circumstances, such as to meet the sudden increase in demand. Even in that case, the employees should not be forced to do overtime.

Every establishment should have a register of overtime, containing the details of the worker, the extra time he or she has given to work, and the calculation of overtime amount due to be paid to the worker.

About Us

A&A LAW is a full service law firm, offering comprehensive legal services in all major areas of law. The firm offers contentious and non-contentious legal services to clients. The non-contentious services include strategic planning, providing legal opinions, preparing documents, and conducting negotiations. The contentious services include arbitration, representation of clients in court hearings at all levels, and enforcement of court judgments and arbitral awards. In addition, they provide services for commercial & non-commercial litigation and corporate governance. The combined experience of the firm’s professionals is over sixty two (62) years, spanning across the world. A&A LAW have worked with industry leaders in the field and have delivered as per their requirements.

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2 thoughts on “An Introduction to Overtime in India

    ML Misra says:

    can employer (Location i/c) ask to perform overtime by employee against his wish, consent including written unwillingness for doing overtime. Saying denial will lead to disobediance and discipline. Overtime is not a mandatory working hours to perform by employee.
    Loc i/c is not following overtime of 100 hrs a quarter. Some employee work for 100 plus hours overtime in a month. This is a regular practice in Oil PSU. Even such wages are paid centrally through SAP logs but Factory Act and Labour law violated. This practice reduces employment also.
    Pl clarify about overtime offer and acceptance, denial. Forcefully asking to work is not amount to exploitation by employer.

    Thank you for your query. A member of our Business Advisory team will be in contact with you shortly.

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