Madras HC: Holidays Under NI Act Not Applicable to All

Workers in private sector will not be entitled to wages if they fail to turn up, says judge

The declaration of a holiday by the government under the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881 will not be applicable to private companies falling under the Factories Act of 1948 and therefore, workers will not be entitled to wages if they fail to turn up for work on those days, the Madras High Court has ruled.

Justice S.M. Subramaniam held so while allowing a writ petition filed by the management of Bimetal Bearings Limited of Hosur in Krishnagiri district. The company had challenged an order passed by a labour court in favour of 47 employees who did not work on July 30, 2015.

The judge pointed out that former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam died on July 27, 2015, and hence the State government issued a notification under the Negotiable Instruments Act the next day declaring July 30, 2015, a public holiday as a mark of respect.

The petitioner factory chose to declare it as a paid holiday only for those who were supposed to report for duty in the general shift (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and first shift (7 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Holiday was denied to those on third (4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.) and fourth (12:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.) shifts.

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