Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant

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We are running a 150 bedded multispeciality charitable hospital. We have nurses and class IV workers on shift duty. We had few questions pertaining their work hours and wanted your expert opinion for the same.

1. Currently our shift duty hours are 2 days mornings from 8am to 2 pm(6 hours each), 2 days evening from 2 pm to 8 pm(6 hours each, and 2 nights from 8 pm to 8 am ( 12 hours each).
Thus, the work is for 48 hours per week.
Is this pattern ok?
Is 12 hours night ok with type of work consideration?
If so, could you point our reference for our back up.

2. As per Factories act, we are bound to give half hour break after 5 hours of work. So, do we have to schedule half hour breaks in 6 hours shifts as well?
Also, if we do so, do we change the shift time to 6 and half hours instead of 6 (i.e from 8am to 230 pm)?

3. For people working in day shift, is recess time inclusive in their work hours or exclusive of it. Currently, most of our staff work from 8 am to 5 pm with 1 hour lunch break. Is this ok?

4. For public holidays, we are giving compensatory off before and after the holiday and pay them their daily wage. Is this ok or do we HAVE to pay twice? Is giving compensatory off for the public holiday allowed?

Bankim Sheth

From India, Ankleshwar
Dear Bankim Sheth,
As far as I know, hospitals are not covered by the Factories Act,1948 and they are exempted establishments under the States' Shops and Establishments Acts.Moreover, they are also covered by the Minimum Wages Act,1948 and State National and Festival Holidays Acts.So better refer to the Minimum Wages Central Rules,1950 or respective State Rules regarding working hours, spread over, over time and shift working and NFH Act for the requirement of compensation for working on such holidays.

From India, Salem
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