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FIXING HOURS FOR A NORMAL WORKING DAY (Section 13)

FIXING HOURS FOR A NORMAL WORKING DAY (Section 13) :

Fixing of minimum rates of wages without reference to working hours may not achieve the purpose for which wages are fixed. Thus, by virtue of Section 13 the appropriate Government may –

(a) fix the number of work which shall constitute a normal working day, inclusive of one or more specified intervals;

(b) provide for a day of rest in every period of seven days which shall be allowed to all employees or to any specified class of employees and for the payment of remuneration in respect of such day of rest;

(c) provide for payment of work on a day of rest at a rate not less than the overtime rate.

The above stated provision shall apply to following classes of employees only to such extent and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed:

(a) Employees engaged on urgent work, or in any emergency, which could not have been foreseen or prevented;

(b) Employees engaged in work in the nature of preparatory or complementary work which must necessarily be carried on outside the limits laid down for the general working in the employment concerned;

(c) Employees whose employment is essentially intermittent;

(d) Employees engaged in any work which for technical reasons, has to be completed before the duty is over;

(e) Employees engaged in any work which could not be carried on except at times dependent on the irregular action of natural forces.

For the purpose of clause (c) employment of an employee is essentially intermittent when it is declared to be so by the appropriate Government on ground that the daily hours of the employee, or if these be no daily hours of duty as such for the employee, the hours of duty, normally includes period of inaction during which the employee may be on duty but is not called upon to display either physical activity or sustained attention.

There is correlation between minimum rates of wages and hours of work. Minimum wages are to be fixed on basis of standard normal working hours, namely 48 hours a week; Benode Bihari Shah v. State of W.B. 1976 Lab I.C. 523 (Cal).

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