Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Partner - Risk Management
Lavika Yadav
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Labour Officer
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Can someone please tell me what is the maximum working hours as per law? Is it 8 hours or 9 hours? And hoes this include break time or excluding break time.
We would from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM for 6 days in a week with one hour of break time every day. It is 9.5 hours including one hour of break and 8.5 hours excluding break. I understand that the shops act says an employee is not supposed to work for more than 48 hours in a week. Does this 48 hours include break time?

From India, Bangalore
As per my knowledge its 9 hours consisting 1 hour break.You can breaks as per your convienient eg. 30 mins lunch break and 15-15 mins two tea breaks or 1 hour Lunch break (You can set is as per your company's suitability)

From India, Mohali
Shops and Commercial Establishments is a state Act and therefore, one Act will differ from another Act. But 48 hours per week is common in all the states. In some state Acts it is 9 hours per day subject to a maximum of 48 hours a week. This is exclusive of intervals of rest under all state rules. Including intervals of rest (spread over of working hours), the working hours is 10 hours and 30 minutes under most of the State Rules except some states where they have made it 12 hours for shops and 10 1/2 hours for commercial establishments.

Wherever 9 hours per day is given as normal working hours, an employee will become entitled to overtime wages only when he works beyond 9 hours but when he does so, he will be eligible to overtime from the hours which exceeded 8 hours. That means, if an employee works for 8 hours and 30 minutes, he will not get overtime wages (for the day) for the half an hour excess worked but at the same time if he works for 10 hours, he will get overtime wages for 2 hours.


From India, Kannur
Thank you Madhu for the Clarification. So from your comment I understand that although our employees are actually working for 8.5 hours a day excluding the 1 hour break, they are still not entitled to over time pay for the 30 minutes worked extra on each and every day. Is it legal on the employer's part to demand 8.5 hours of actual working hours per day, which adds up to 51 hours for a week? Also I understand that as per the Shops act no employee is supposed to work more than 48 hours per week.
From India, Bangalore
No, please read the sentence once again and then comment on it. The last sentence in my post, ".........he will not get overtime wages " (for the day)" for the half an hour......", means that where it is 9 hours per day but 48 hours a week, it should be like this for "the day". Therefore, if the practice is to engage the worker for half an hour extra every day, he should be paid overtime for the hours which exceeded 48 hours in that week. This is similar to the provision for overtime wages under the Factories Act (Central Act)

Under an arrangement where there are only 5 days working, the employees will be working only for 45 days but for the purpose of overtime calculation the extra hours worked over 8/9 hours, as the case may be, will be counted for overtime notwithstanding 48 hours. Similarly, in a week with holidays or leave with or without pay, the overtime will be based on hours exceeding 8/9 hours per day whereas in such cases the employee would not have worked for 48 hours. Therefore, calculation of overtime hours as per above is possible in the case of daily rated workers for whom there will not be any leave days.


From India, Kannur
Ok, thanks again for clarifying. My point was to know if the 3 hours of extra working in a week should be treated as over time.
Secondly is it legal on the Employer's part to demand 8.5 hours of compulsory working in a day, without any overtime pay?

From India, Bangalore
The overtime rules state (assuming you are subject to Bombay shop and establishment act) anyone working more than 9 hours in a single day or 48 hours in a single week will be entitled to overtime for that extra work period. Whichever less, naturally.
So for working extra 3 hours you would get overtime at double rate.
However, the other part of the law states that an employee should not be asked to work for more than 48'hours a week. So the standard shift time can not be 51 hours a week. It is illegal. Overtime is for extra work, as exception and not a standard routine daily practice.

From India, Mumbai
The extra 3 hours per week shall be treated as overtime provided there was no leave day nor was there any holiday during the week because in any case where there was a holiday or leave, the employee would not have worked for 48 hours. However, in respect of workers who are eligible for leave with wages and statutory holidays, this will not work and the practice is to count either the proportionate hours in the week or to take over time hours on each day.
If the establishment works for 5 days in a week, the employer can ask the employees to work for 9 hours a day.

From India, Kannur
Dear Madhu
If some one does work more than 48 hours a week they will get ot. Correct
However the company can not have a normal work schedule (work hours / shift time) over 48 hours. That is illegal. Overtime is not designed to be everyday standard but exceptions.
Else the government should not object to security guards working 12 hours a day as they get overtime.
There are 2 separate provisions. One that prohibits work beyond 48 hours a week, which governs your shift timing across a week and other that requires extra pay for any additional work done. but the later can not become the basis for shift time beyond the stipulated 9 hours a day / 48 hours a week

From India, Mumbai
Please also note that there a limit on overtime hours also. Totol number of overtime hours by an employee does not exceed 50 within one quarter.
Working hours in S&E Act for an employee should not exceed 48 hours in a week or 9 hours in any one day. This is excluding rest &intervals.

From India, New Delhi

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