If canteen in office of a factory is shut down amid COVID 19 pandemic, is it a violation of Section 46 of Factories Act?
From India, Bhubaneswar
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant

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From the perspective of strict social distancing, it would be better to keep the canteen closed even if the factory has to run with skeleton staff or limited no of workers pursuant to the directions issued by the State under the DMA,2005 as long as the lock down remains in force. Therefore, in my opinion, in such a situation the question of contravention of sec.46 of the FA,1948 would not arise.
From India, Salem

I agree with Umakanthan Sir. The MHA has issued guidelines for restarting factories but nowhere an SOP is given for canteen. We can take it like this. Functioning of factory with minimum number of workers is permitted. This is to ensure essential production. Canteen in a factory though a statutory requirement, is applicable only when a certain number of workers assemble for work. But in a period during which we are trying to operate with minimum numbers and when the public restaurants are asked not to provide eating places within the restaurants, it is good if we do not open canteens till things become okay.
From India, Kannur
Nagarkar Vinayak L

Dear colleague,
If anything, it will be technical/notioal violation of the FA. In fact, oprating this service during the pandemic, will be against all the safety measures to arrest the spread. So keeping it shut during this period will not be held against you and I concur with Mr Umakanthan.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai
Thank you Sirs for your answers.
From India, Bhubaneswar

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