Over Time troubles hit city IT firms

posted under by NSmurthy
City based IT and IT-enabled services (ITeS) companies are in a strategy to cut down on hiring and making the existing employees do more work, could actually land in trouble for violation of the law. Here’s why. The rules set by the government pertaining to overtime (OT) working by the employees are not supportive of such a strategy. Many companies, which have already encouraged their employees to work for more number of hours than the prescribed eight hours, are engaging auditors and lawyers to cover up the violation.
For the uninformed, the IT and ITeS companies in the state are registered under the Andhra Pradesh Shops and Establishments Act, 1966 and are governed by it. According to the Act, an employer can make an employee work for 48 hours in a week and any OT work by the employee should be within the maximum number of hours prescribed by the Act. However, once the limit is exceeded, the employer will have to make an extra payment to the employee. Even for this, the OT put in by an employee should not exceed six hours a week.
“We have hundreds of employees who have put in more than 40 hours as OT. It’s now turning out to be a major exercise for us to adjust the number of hours to comply with the prescribed limit and also ensure that the employee gets the payment legally,” said HR head of an ITeS company. In fact, employees of these companies benefit as they get those extra rupees by spending some more time in the office. “Even if we are through with our daily work, we spend at least an hour or two in the office just to spend some time with our friends. Instead, we use that time as extended working hours and we get an extra pay,” Ch Kishore, an employee of an MNC BPO, said.
Like him, though the employees have no issues in working for an extra hour every day, managements are now wracking their brains to wriggle out of the violation. “We have slowed down on hiring since we thought of managing with the existing resource. Auditors now have a problem in allowing the extra pay-out to the employees. Though we tend to make adjustments every year in one or two cases, this year, the number of employees putting in OT has shot up,” another HR manager said. Well, as they say, it’s the law my friend. Never mind even if it’s an ass.