Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The principle of an interval is of long standing, and, so far as women are concerned, the Act of 1891 (which introduced the prohibition of night-work) prescribed a longer period than is now obligatory. The subsidiary provisions date from 1922 and 1926, and the idea of making intervals vary with the consent of the operatives was introduced by the legislature in 1922. Employers and workers have not shown much readiness to co-operate in experiments with shorter intervals, and a single interval of an hour or longer is the most common practice. Experience in other countries shows that fatigue can be diminished by frequent short intervals, and although the Indian operative is apt generally to be " slow off the mark ", more endeavours should be made to discover the best form of intervals. The long continuous spells of work have probably some responsibility for the frequency of unauthorised intervals and, if hours are to be reduced, it is the more important that these should be lessened. We recommend that the statutory intervals should ordinarily amount to not less than an hour in the aggregate, and that, subject to the sanction of the Chief Inspector of Factories, employers should be at liberty to distribute this hour in such periods as they think best. The distribution of the hours into two or more periods should be made only after consultation with the operatives. For preference, this consultation should be directly between the employer and the employed; but it would be the duty of the Chief Inspector, where he was not satisfied that the views of the operatives had been effectively expressed, to consult them before giving his sanction. This should in any case be given after having regard to the convenience of the operatives (e.g., their meal times and the proximity of their homes to the factory). The provision permitting a reduction to half an hour for men working a shorter day should remain, but this should continue to be subject to the consent of the majority of operatives affected.