It has been proposed that the maximum working hours in a day be fixed at 12, which will include breaks. This was suggested by the Labour Ministry in the draft of the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH) Code 2020. The working hours per day can be changed by the establishment, as long as no worker is made to work more than 48 hours in a week.
The maximum working hours per week will be 48, calculated on the basis of six days of working eight hours. The workers’ schedules will be so arranged that no one will be required to work more than 12 hours a day, inclusive of breaks for rest. The workers will be allowed a break of a minimum of 30 minutes, at least every 5 hours. That is, no worker will be made to work for more than five hours at a stretch.
The proposal has been criticised because the Parliament had passed the limit of eight hours of work a day.
However, the Labour Ministry maintains that the increased limit will give workers an opportunity to earn more through overtime. This will also help workers deal with extreme climates.
As per the draft, a fraction of an hour, that is 15 to 30 minutes, will be considered as 30 minutes while calculating overtime. The present practice is to consider only a minimum of 30 minutes as overtime.