The Labour Monthly


Factory Legislation

Source: The Labour Monthly, Vol. 2 February, 1922 No. 2
Transcriptionp: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2009). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

At the recent session of the Indian Legislative Assembly at Delhi on January 10 amendments to the Indian Factories Act were ratified and passed. The new Act embodies the draft conventions and recommendations (in the form in which they were specially modified for India) of the Washington International Labour Conference, with the exception of the draft convention on maternity and maternity benefits. Mines are to be excluded from this Act; special amended legislation being contemplated under the Mines Act. The chief points in the new Factory Act include:

(1) The term “factory” henceforth shall mean any concern employing twenty or more persons instead of fifty as under the 1911 Act.

(2) A basic ten-hour working day for all adults, with the proviso that no person shall be employed more than sixty hours in any one week or twelve in any one day; the Amendment in the 1911 Factories Act fixed a twelve-hour day for men and eleven for women, with an interval of half an hour per day for meals.

A six-hour working day for children; this already operates in textile factories.

(3) The minimum age of children to be raised from nine to twelve, and the term “children” to apply to all those under fifteen instead of fourteen as hitherto; this new age limit shall not be introduced till July, 1922, to avoid unnecessary dislocation.

(4) Rest periods of not less than one hour for adults for every six hours worked; no child to work more than four hours continuously without half an hour’s rest; no person to be employed in any factory on Sunday, though it is permitted in cases of factories where continuous processes operate to substitute a mid-week holiday for those workers compelled to do Sunday work.

(5) Overtime rates to be paid at not less than one and a quarter times the normal rates in cases where factories are exempted for any special reason from the regulation enjoining a maximum week of sixty hours.