The Odisha government Wednesday approved amending the Factories Act to increase the overtime limit for industries and relax norms on employee numbers for small units, saying it would help them tide over the “hardships” brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another proposal cleared by the state cabinet allows conditional approval for women employees to work in night shifts. Also, workers will now have to work for 180 days to be eligible for leaves with wages in the next calendar year, instead of the earlier 240.
“These amendments will facilitate investment, generate more employment and will counter the hardships caused to MSMEs due to the Covid pandemic by way of creating a more conducive and business friendly atmosphere while keeping in mind the welfare of workers,” said Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.
“The threshold for factories is increased to 20 (with the aid of power) and 40 without the aid of power from existing 10 and 20 respectively. That means the premises including the precincts thereof engaging manpower less than 20 when manufacturing processes being carried on with the aid of power and manpower less than 40 when manufacturing processes being carried on without aid of power will be exempted from licence renewal, approval of plants payment of fees and regular inspections,” he added.
The overtime limit has been increased from 75 hours to 115 hours per quarter.
The state government on Wednesday also approved amendments to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, paving the way for stricter penalties for those violating Covid-19 norms.
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