Companies and establishments may end up paying more as well as requiring the written consent of employees for overtime work. This proposal in the Code on Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions 2019 states that workers will be paid twice their wage if they are allowed to work overtime. The proposed law said that wage will include basic pay, dearness allowance and retention pay component.
The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha last week by Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar. The proposal states that “no worker shall be required to work overtime by the employer without prior consent of the worker in writing for such work”.
According to the National Statistical Office’s (NSO) Periodic Labour Force Survey 2017-18, a majority of workers in the country worked more than 48 hours in a week, which is more than the International Labour Organisation’s prescribed time-limit. The survey showed that salaried or regular-wage worked around 53-56 hours a week. Self-employed people worked 46-54 hours a week, while casual workers worked 43-48 hours a week.
The government has also removed a provision that currently specifies the number of hours a worker is allowed to work overtime. The centre or state governments might ‘prescribe’ the period of overtime work instead.
The draft Bill was made public for comments last year. It had said that workers will not be allowed to work for more than 100 hours a quarter, which was in line with the law in place since 2016. It also said that the number of working hours should not exceed 10 hours in a day. But, these provisions were not mentioned in the bill introduced in the Lok Sabha.