No overtime for employees without their consent

Employers will not only have to obtain a written consent from the workers before making them work overtime, but will also have to pay them double the normal wage for the extra hours.

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The Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar proposed a Bill in the Lok Sabha, which states that all organisations will have to obtain a written consent from their employees before making them work overtime.

The Code on Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions, 2019 proposes that workers can only be made to work overtime if they have given their prior written consent for the same.

Recently, the Government had done away with a law that specified the number of hours a worker is allowed to work overtime. Now, it is reported that the Government may issue a notification allowing government departments to fix working hours on their own. Also, employees working overtime will be paid twice the normal wages for the number of hours put in.

As per the Bill, the wage will also include basic pay, dearness allowance and retention pay components.

But not everyone is satisfied with the Bill in totality. There are many aspects that are not going down well. Demands have been raised to let the provision pertaining to overtime be driven by market forces instead of letting the authorities fix the time.

National Statistical Office’s (NSO) Periodic Labour Force Survey 2017-18 had reported that most of the workers in India put in over 48 hours of work on a weekly basis, which is way more than the time limit prescribed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Clearly, in future, companies will end up paying more to their workers who agree to work extra hours.

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