Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
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Associated with the provisions of the Factories Act relating to hours of work are a number of clauses giving local Governments the power to grant exemptions to individual factories or classes of operatives or factories. No exemptions are permissible in the case of children's hours; and the daily limit of hours is absolute, so far as women are concerned. But with these exceptions, all the provisions relating to hours of work can be relaxed in certain defined circumstances. In the main the principles governing the grant of exemption are based on provisions of International Labour Conventions. In the years immediately following the passing of the 1922 Act, considerable latitude was shown; lately exemptions have been substantially curtailed. In this respect, policy has been guided to some extent by the central Government who, in exercise of their powers of supervision, have also endeavoured to secure some uniformity between province and province. There are, however, differences in the treatment of the same class of factories in different provinces and in the degree of latitude which local Governments exhibit in the matter of exemptions generally. The criteria laid down in the Act for the grant of exemptions appear to us to be generally sound, but, if our recommendation relating to seasonal factories is accepted, it should be possible to curtail at once the somewhat long list of exempting provisions. It is a legitimate criticism of the present Act that it takes too little account of the differences between certain classes of factories, and one consequence of this defect is that, in some directions, it has to be unduly elastic. Further, if the hours of work are to be reduced, the provisions governing payment of overtime might suitably be revised. We recommend that, where work exceeds 54 hours in a week, payment be required at not less than 1 1/4 times the normal rate, and that for work in excess of 60 hours, the minimum should be 1 1/2 times the normal rate.