When India is into its second phase of the lockdown, factories and manufacturing facilities are gearing up to resume activities in a phased manner. To ensure that operations are not hampered and the demands of social distancing are also maintained, the Rajasthan government has expanded working hours at processing plants. Instead of the usual eight hours a day, the workers will now put in 12 hours a day. This way, production will not be impacted, even when the factories operate with a limited workforce.
To implement this move, Rajasthan has used special powers provided for in the Factories Act of 1948, which can be invoked during a public emergency. These powers will enable the state to implement these changes in the work hours for the next three months. The changes will be applicable to all factories, production units and manufacturing facilities that have been allowed to operate.
“To achieve the dual objective of restoring full supply of essential goods and ensure a minimum presence of people in manufacturing and distribution facilities, it is allowed that the usual eight hours of working per day according to the Factories Act, 1948, be exempted for the next three months to allow maximum of 12 hours working per day,” said Niraj Kumar Pawan, secretary, Rajasthan Labour, Employment and Skill Secretary.
As per a notification by the Labour Department, the extension of work hours will be in place for the next three months and the additional four hours shall be considered as overtime, for which the workers will be given double the usual wages.
Neeraj K Pawan, secretary, Labour Department, said that the decision was taken keeping in mind the national public emergency due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The move will not only facilitate the adequate supply of essential goods, but also ensure that the manufacturing facilities and distribution units are not overcrowded, as they will be functioning with minimum resources.