In a welcome development for Hotel employees, the industry will now have to fix proper shifts and pay overtime if they work for more for than 8 hours a day, apart from ensuring workers' health, safety and welfare facilities.
With the decision of Ministry of Labour and Employment to include the 'Hotel Industry' under the Factories Act, the rulebook of all the leading hotels would need a relook.
"Hotel industry will have to work in a disciplined way with the inclusion of the industry under the 'Factories Act'. The Act clearly says that the employees will work for eight hours in a shift and overstaying period will be paid and they have to do it," said a high-level official in the Labour Ministry.
"It is not only the time frame or shifts but the Industry will also probably have to look at the employee's issues relating to health, safety, welfare facilities, working hours, employment of young persons and annual leave with wages which is all a part of 'Factories Act' with the inclusion," confirmed a Ministry source.
The Factories Act is a social legislation which has been enacted for occupational safety, health and welfare of workers at work places. This legislation is being enforced by technical officers, inspectors of factories, deputy chief inspectors of factories who work under the control of the Chief Inspector of Factories and overall control of the Labour Commissioner.
This Act provides for a maximum punishment up to two years imprisonment or a fine of upto Rs 1 lakh or both.
Reacting to the decision, Manager, Human Resources of Taj Group of Hotels, Sanjay Bose said that this is not a welcome decision.
"We already have a set of norms that ensures safety and health issues of employees. We have been anyways covered under shops and establishment Act, so there is no point including us under the Factories Act," Bose said.
Industry workers, however, cheered the move. "Most of the time we work for more than 14 hours a day and without proper weekly rests. The inclusion is certainly a welcome move. It will create a conducive work environment," said a senior level official of a renowned five star hotel.