The Ministry of Labour & Employment has suggested a nine-hour normal working day in its draft rules on wages code.
The preliminary draft rule under Section 67 of the Code of Wages, 2019, was placed on the Ministry's website on Friday for suggestions and comments from stakeholders including the general public.
"The number of hours which shall constitute a normal working day under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 13, shall be nine hours," the draft said adding that a "working day of an employee shall be so arranged that inclusive of the intervals of rest, if any, it shall not spread over more than twelve hours on any day."
As for minimum wages, the draft does not spell a specific number but has laid out rules to calculate the minimum rate of wages.
To fix the minimum wage for a day, a standard family should be considered to include a spouse and two children apart from the earning worker with a net intake of 2,700 calories per day per consumption unit, 66 meters cloth per year, housing rent expenditure (10 percent of food and clothing expenditure), fuel, electricity and other miscellaneous items of expenditure (20 percent of minimum wage) and expenditure for children education, medical requirement, recreation, contingencies (25 percent of minimum wages).
However, there is ambiguity on the fixation of rate of wages for the day, where the amount has to be based on a working day of 8 hours for 26 days of a month even as the draft also states that a working day would have to be 9 hours.
"When the rate of wages for a day is fixed, then, such amount shall be divided by eight for fixing the rate of wages for an hour and multiplied by twenty six for fixing the rate of wages for a month and in such division and multiplication the factors of one-half and more than one-half shall be rounded as next figure and the factors less than one-half shall be ignored," it said.
The public has a month's time to send their inputs to deputy director and assistant director of the Ministry of Labour & Employment. The draft rules are likely to be finalized by December after receiving public comments.