A few industry associations have welcomed the Tamil Nadu government’s passing of a bill in the State Assembly on Friday to amend the Factories Act, 1948, to effect reforms in the daily working hours for workers in factories.

The proposed move will facilitate an increase in working hours for factory workers from 8 hours to 12 hours.

“However, there is no change in the clauses of 8-hour work, weekly holiday, and additional wages,” said C V Ganesan, State Minister for Labour Welfare and Skill Development said while tabling the bill in the assembly. The bill was passed amid criticism from several parties.

Flexible laws

Terming the passing of the bill “historical”, A Sakthivel President, FIEO said the statutory provision for flexible working hours brings in several benefits to the State and workers, especially women employees and the economy as a whole.

The flexible working hours including overtime and spread-over hours, which subsumes 13 labour enactment will help in developing better safety, health and working conditions apart from better remuneration to workers in the State, he added.

K M Subramanian, President, Tiruppur Exporters Association (TEA) said flexible labour laws would help to meet the foreign buyers’ compliances since the buyers are insisting to follow the laws of the land.

TEA has been requesting to increase the working hours in a day and quarter considering the seasonal nature of the Tiruppur knitwear export business. During peak periods, the requirement of overtime is absolutely needed to meet the delivery schedules and move the goods on time. This industry-friendly measure will have a positive impact on the Tiruppur knitwear garment business, he added.