What is the provision relating to declaration of national holidays in the country?

National and Festival Holiday Act, which is applicable to all establishments in the country, irrespective of under which law it is formed it is mandatory to grant leave on following 3 days, i.e. 26th January (Republic Day), 15th August (Independence Day) and 2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti). For rest of the festival holidays the declaration depends on the discretion of the concerned States and establishments. Number of festive holidays can differ from state to state.

What does the law say about the holidays and working days for employees in country?

The holidays are declared under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1981. They are usually applicable to Government departments more particularly to banks. They are not generally adopted by factories and other establishments in the private and public sector. Provisions relating work days are provided in the Standing Orders of establishments as per the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. In which provisions relating to employees working on various days as per the requirement of the organisation is mentioned and specification is given regarding their off days for working.

The factory legislations in our country also do not provide for the grant of festival holidays to industrial workers. But inspite of that, some quantum of festivals and national holidays with pay is prevalent in factories and other industrial establishments. Generally, the occupiers of factories fix the number of such holidays in their standing orders or service rules. Apart from this, States are very generous in declaring paid holidays.

The festival holiday are decided based on the local festival of that locality and are granted to the employee’s in accordance with the company policies.

What is the law relating to working on national holidays?

All the organisations need to remain closed on the three national holidays. But in case due to some reasons if the organisation needs to be functioning on these days, they need to take prior approval from concerned authority. And the employees those are functioning are entitled to get double wages for the day, and some of the states have placed the provision to claim for compensatory leave. The matter concerning to national holidays is subject of Central Legislations, though some states do have made provisions for compensatory leave to the workers who have worked on these national holidays or paying them double wages.

What are the provisions relating to working on weekends or special days?

Provisions relating to working on weekend, is not specified under any law or act. But provisions relating work days are provided in the Standing Orders of establishments as per the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 which specifies provisions relating to employees working days and their off days for working on weekends.

There are some Acts relating to specific schedule of employment. One of them being The Weekly Holidays Act, 1942 which provides provisions relating to weekly holidays to persons employed in shops, restaurants and theatres. Provisions relating to it are as follows:

(1)    Every shop shall remain entirely closed on one day of the week, which day shall be specified by the shopkeeper in a notice permanently exhibited in a conspicuous place in the shop.

(2)    The day so specified shall not be altered by the shopkeeper more often than once in three months.

(3)    Every person employed otherwise than in a confidential capacity or in a position of management in any shop, restaurant or theatre shall be allowed in each week a holiday of one whole day. And there will not be any deduction in their salary/wages for the day.

There are provisions relating to National Holidays and weekend holidays which are mentioned under Shops and Establishment Act of the concerned states. So there applicability depends upon the state legislation. These state laws provide provisions for holidays that are to be provided by establishments to the person employed in the jurisdiction of that state.

Should Holidays and weekly off  be included or excluded while calculating number of leaves when holidays falls in between leaves?

It is one of the questions which confuse many HR professional. Technically speaking, all leaves with pay are excluding weekly off and holidays which means even if an employee is on leave for whole month (30 days) which includes 4 weekly off and 1 holiday then employee should be considered on leave for 25 days only.

Similarly, if an employee take leave from Saturday to Monday where Sunday is weekly off then Sunday should not be counted as leave. Hence only 2 leaves should b counted.

What is the concept for giving compensatory off on national holiday, holiday and weekly off?

Compensatory Off in case of National Holiday or Holiday : Compensatory off should be given within 90 days of national holiday or holiday for which employee has worked along with one day average daily wage.