Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Our recommendation is that the work of individual operatives in any day should be required by statute to fall within a period of 13 hours. In the case of men, the day need not be the calendar day; what is intended is that there should be a regular rest interval of not less then 11 hours. To meet special difficulties local Governments might have the power to grant exemptions in exceptional cases. These should be limited to cases where the increased spreadover is in the interests of the workers and is acceptable to them. In the case of women, the rule should be absolute and the 11 hours' period should cover the night. The Factories Act as it stands at present prescribes a 10 1/2 hour rest period for women, and fixes this ordinarily as the period between 7 P.M. and 5-30 A.M. We advocate a relaxation here and would prescribe merely that the 11 hours' rest period should include the hours between 10 P.M. and 5 A.M. The effect of our proposals will thus be to extend from 13 1/2 to 17 hours the period within which factories may employ women, and to reduce from 13 1/2 to 13 hours the period within which they may employ any individual woman. In this connection we have considered the objections, which are felt strongly by many in India, to women working in or travelling to and from the factory after dark. We believe that many women will be unwilling to accept work involving late hours or a very early start, and we do not anticipate that this relaxation will have any effect on the hours in factories which work without shifts. At the same time, we regard it as desirable to remove an obstacle in the way of the more general adoption of shifts and the employment of women who may be willing to work on these shifts. We may add that, if adopted, our proposals will bring the Indian law into strict conformity with the Convention relating to night work for women, to which we have referred. In the case of children, we recommend that the spreadover be limited to 7 1/2 hours, and consider that the night rest should continue to include the hours between 7 P.M. and 5-30 A.M.