The Kerala Labour Commissionerate issued a notice on February 26. This order has called for mandatory break time for labourers during the summer months. This has been done with a view that working in such conditions where the labourers are exposed to strong sunlight might potentially lead to sunstroke.
Change in working schedule
“Taking public welfare into consideration, the working hours of labourers within the state will be rescheduled from February 26 to April 30, exercising the powers of section 23(A) of the Minimum Wages Act constituted in 1958,” the order read. Further, the order also seeks to reschedule the shift timings for the labourers who are exposed to strong sunlight and hot weather in these months.
The order outlines that the labourers working in the morning shift will be allocated a break from 12 pm to 3 pm. They would be required to work for an eight-hour shift between 7 am to 7 pm. Shifts beginning early morning will be rescheduled to end before 12 pm and shifts beginning post noon would be rescheduled after 3 pm. Notably, as per the order, these instructions will not be valid for those working in places 3,000 feet above sea level. The reason given for this is that those working at such height will not be exposed to intense sunlight.
The order asks all the district labour officers to act upon this order and submit a report to the labour department. If all regional joint Labour Commissioners require any changes in the date and timings, they could send a report to the Labour Commissioner.
The Logical Indian Take
In 2018 also, the Kerala government’s Labour Department had issued a similar notice asking for rescheduling of work timings for labourers to avoid exposure to intense sunlight. A decision like this is a very humanely gesture and a much-required step. Often those doing blue collar jobs are exposed to inhuman working conditions. What Kerala government did is extremely appreciable and The Logical Indian hopes that other states should also take such decisions.
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