Dear Sirs,
We are working in a sales company coming under Bombay Shop & Establishment Act. We observe 08.30 to 17.45 as working hours & 5 days per week. Now company is planning to increase timing by 15 minutes. We are approx 250 people and some part of employee are coming under employees union.
I feel we work currently for 9.15 Hrs per day, After increase of 15 minutes it will become 9.30 Hrs. So under this act what should be maximum working hours per day or per week? I understand 9 Hours is mentioned in the Act, So is it including lunch & breaks or it excludes it?
So can we increase office timing? What action union shall take against this? how to represent the increased office hours?
Thanks & Regards

From India, Satara
9 Hours is including intervals/lunch break etc. of 1 hour. The total working hours per week should be 48 hours or 54 hours including break. Since you are working for 5 days a week, there should not be any hindrance from the Union as well, but it is always advisable to keep them in loop/confidence. Lastly let others/seniors give their view as well.
From India, Ahmadabad
9 hours is not including intervals of rest but it is the actual working hours per day. At the same time the weekly hours shall be 48 hours. That means if you work for 9 hours and 15 minutes a day, it would come to less than 48 hours only. Also when it is including intervals of rest, it will again be lesser than what the law stipulates. As per Shops Act, there will be a spread over of work specified. Spread over of work means the total hours including intervals of rest. Under the Bombay Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, the spread over of work is eleven hours a day for a commercial establishment other than theatres and hotels and restaurants for which different spread over have been prescribed. As such, there is no legal problem in introducing the new timing. However, since change of working involves change in service conditions, notice under section 9A of the Industrial Disputes Act is required to be given to the employees before 21 days of making such change.

From India, Kannur
Mr Madhu T. has correctly advised about the Notice of change under section 9 A of the ID Act. The management is required to give 21 days of notice to the workmen/Union about the proposed change in the working hours. in case no agreement is arrived at between the employer and the workmen/union, the matter will go for conciliation. In the event there is no agreement/settlement before the conciliation officer, the matter may be referred to the Court for adjudication. The employer cannot make any change in the working conditions unless the matter is agreed to or adjudicated in favour of the management.
It is for this reason, the managements try and settle the matter in consultation with the operating trade union and effect the change.

From India, Nagpur
I think the Bombay Shops and Commercial Establishment Act should be revised to 45 hours in week. So this should be 9 hours only including lunch & breaks. 8 hours a day should be maximum work limit for all commercial and government organisations.
From India, Ghaziabad
Dear Sir or Madam,
Please note world over no law permits for more than 8 hours of work per day or 48 hours of work in a week. Any work for more than 8 hours a day is known as overtime. Overtime has to be be pre-approved in writing by the competent authority, before doing the overtime . Any overtime without approval is illegal and can involve criminal procedures.
Secondly overtime when assigned, it should not exceed more than two hours a day and should be paid at premium rate which is double the ordinary rate of wages or salary. Overtime should not exceed more than 60 hours in a period three months.
Further overtime should be voluntary and not compulsory, i.e. the employee has every right to refuse the overtime.
So while defining the hours of work keep the above things in mind and then finalise.
With best regards,
M +91 9925195350
Email :

From India, Ahmedabad
Different laws have given different interpretation to the term working hours. If you see Factories Act ( a central Act) the working hours is nine hours a day subject to a maximum of 48 hours a week. This is excluding the intervals of rest not including rest intervals for lunch and tea and including intervals (spread over ) is 10 1/2 hours. Now coming to over time calculation, an employee is entitled to overtime if he has worked beyond 9 hours but his OT will be calculated from the hours exceeding 8 hours.

Under Shops Acts (State Acts) different spread over are permitted in different states. What I have quoted is the one relevant to Maharashtra where different sectors have different spread over, like 11 hours for shops and commercial establishments, 14 hours for theatres etc. This 14 hours is not the working hours but spread over which will include intervals and in theatres the people will have good amount of interval in between different shows. That means if the 1st show starts at 10 am then after the show they can go home or take rest and come for the 2nd show and this can continue till 12 at midnight for which there is no need of any shift arrangement and the same persons can be deployed for attending all the shows.

The above differentiation may not be available under other state rules. But in general, all the state Acts speak about hours of work which is common, ie, 48 hours a week.


From India, Kannur

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