From February 26 to April 30, all labourers have been asked to taken mandatory break time.

Kerala govt orders mandatory break time for labourers to avoid sunstrokePicxy/Image for representation
news Labour Friday, March 01, 2019 - 08:13

With mercury levels in Kerala rising this summer, the state’s Labour Department has issued an order allowing mandatory break time for labourers to avoid sunstroke. All labourers in the state who are exposed to sunlight which could potentially lead to a sunstroke have been ordered to rest indoors between 12 pm and 3 pm during the summer months.

“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 issued on February 26 by the State Labour Department read. 

The order also asked for the rescheduling of shift timings for labourers who are exposed to the hot sun during these months. 

“Those working in the morning shift will get a break from 12 pm to 3 pm. Their work timings have been fixed at 8 hours from 7 in the morning to 7 in the evening. For the other shifts which begin after morning and post noon will be rescheduled to end before 12 pm and begin after 3 pm,” read the order. 

It also added that these instructions will not be applicable to those labourers working in terrain 3000 feet above sea level, which isn’t likely to receive intense sunlight that could lead to sunstroke. 

All regional joint Labour Commissioners have been instructed to send a report to the Labour Commissioner if they required any changes into the above mentioned date and timings, the order clarified.

“All district labour officers in the State are also required to execute the order and submit a report to the labour department,” it said. 

This is not the first time that the Kerala government has taken this step to protect its labour force from sunstroke. In 2018 too, the State Labour Department had issued a similar order to reschedule the shift timings of labourers during the months of February and April to avoid exposure to heat from 12 pm to 3 pm.

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