Working hours and Overtime as per the Factories Act -1948

The provisions and comments related to the above topic are detailed below in two sections for easy understanding of the readers.


A.   Guidelines for working under regular conditions

1.  Weekly hours are restricted to 48 hours. However if the company is operating in General Shift, lunch hours can be excluded to count 48 hours (Section 51).

2.  Subject to the above conditions, daily working hours shall not cross 09 hours (Section 54).

3.  Half an hour (½) rest to be allowed for every 05 hours of work (Section 55). However, this can be increased to six hours with prior approval of the Director of Factories/Chief Inspector of Factories or the authorized official of the department.

4.  The first day of the week (i.e. Sunday ) to be observed as a holiday. However, this can be changed for any specific reason and a substituted holiday to be provided but still, no employee should work for more than 10 days consecutively without a holiday for a whole day. An advance intimation to the jurisdictional Factories Director to be provided (Section 52).

5.  The spread over (The period of work of an adult) including rest should not cross 10.5 hours (Section 56).

6.  For the purpose of calculating 24 hours (As Holiday), the hours to be recorded when the shift ends in the case employee who is in night shift (Section 57) 

B.   Working hours and Overtime with exemptions (Section 65) 

An exemption can be sought to work overtime. However, there is a restriction put by the law which needs to be complied with even when there is approval from the Factories Department. Such restrictions are as detailed below.

1.    In general, the exemption to take overtime from male workers with their consent is granted by the Director of Factories/Chief Inspector of Factories or an authorized officer of the Dept. Hence, over time from female workers not to be allowed unless there is an express approval.

2.    The daily working hours shall not exceed 12 hours. This means every day 04 hours of overtime can be taken. However, there is a catch…….

3.    The weekly working hours shall not cross 60 hours. This means 48 hours overtime can be taken in a month (12 hours X 04 weeks = 48 hours).

4.    Another catch is, even though 04 hours per day or 48 hours per month OT can be availed, the quarterly overtime should be restricted to 75 hours and no employee should continue overtime for more than 07 days at a stretch.  

The summary is daily 04 hours overtime is allowed subject to weekly overtime of 12 hours (monthly 48 hours – 12 X 4 = 48) and further restriction of 75 hours OT per quarter when there is an exemption received from the department as per the provisions of section 65.

Another important point is that there is a wrong notion among us that overtime up to 50 hours per quarter can be taken without approval. There is no such provision. However, the Government as per section 64, can make rules for categories of employees or nature of work and allow such 50 hours overtime/per quarter without the approval of Director of Factories. In absence of any such specific rules by the State Government, this is not at all applicable, therefore no shelter to be taken under this provision without having understood the provisions. Currently, under Karnataka Factories Rules 1969, Rule 116, certain categories of employees are listed and exempted from certain provisions of the Act. Those exemptions and conditions are also listed in the Schedule attached to this rule. In general, these exemptions are provided for urgent repair, maintenance, Boiler house and other essential works.