With mercury levels soaring to new heights even before the onset of summer, the Kerala labour department has issued an order rescheduling the working hours of labourers. As per the order, labourers have to be given mandatory noon break by way of rescheduling the work hours. The eight hours of duty will be from 7 AM to 7 PM with a break of three hours from 12 noon to 3 PM.
The labour commissioner’s order is based on the powers of section 23(A) of the Minimum Wages Act constituted in 1958.
“The shift timings for labourers who are exposed to the hot sun have also been changed. The schedule has been revised to avoid incidence of sunstroke. However, labourers working in the high range areas located more than 3000 feet from sea level have been omitted from the restrictions,” said state labour commissioner Pranab Jyothi Nath in the order.
If any changes are to be made in the revised work time schedule, joint labour commissioner or chief inspector of plantations has to report it to the labour commissioner.
For last couple of years, the state government has been issuing similar order to protect labourers working under hot sun. Last year, the labour department had instructed online food delivery firms like Uber Eats, Swiggy and Zomato to take necessary measures to ensure safety of delivery boys operating during noon time. Most of the delivery boys are forced to deliver food riding under scorching sun since their performance is assessed based on the number of orders they take....