Applicability of Factories Act to IT or ITES Companies
The Factories Act regulates the health, safety, welfare, leaves, holidays, overtime, hours of work and other terms of service for the people employed in a Factory. And coming to the applicability, this act is applicable to the people employed in factories only and the IT/ITES companies are covered under the Shops and Establishments Act which is regulated by each state separately along with additional Government Order’s passed by respective governments of the state for IT/ITES industries which creates a different working culture across different cities in India due to the flexibility provided by State Governments. Because of this we do see a lot of difference related to working hours and other regulations in IT/ITES establishments such as women employees working in an IT/ITES company during night shift, providing security guards to women employees during login and logout times as stipulated by the government and many such other changes as per the orders passed by State Governments in their respective regions.
The definition of the Factory under Factories Act, 1948 is as mentioned below:
Section 2(m) – “factory” means any premises including the precincts thereof—
(i) whereon ten or more workers are working, or were working on any day of the preceding twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried on with the aid of power, or is ordinarily so carried on, or
(ii) whereon twenty or more workers are working, or were working on any day of the preceding twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried on without the aid of power, or is ordinarily so carried on,—
but does not include a mine subject to the operation of the Mines Act, 1952 (35 of 1952), or a mobile mobile unit belonging to the armed forces of the Union, railway running shed or a hotel, restaurant or eating place.
The above definition of ‘Factory’ further refers to ‘Manufacturing Process’ which is defined in Section 2(k) of the Factories Act, 1948 as mentioned below:
Section 2(k) – “manufacturing process” means any process for—
(i) making, altering, repairing, ornamenting, finishing, packing, oiling, washing, cleaning, breaking up, demolishing, or otherwise treating or adapting any article or substance with a view to its use, sale, transport, delivery or disposal; or
(ii) pumping oil, water, sewage or any other substance; or
(iii) generating, transforming or transmitting power; or
(iv) composing types for printing, printing by letter press, lithography, photogravure or other similar process or book binding; or
(v) constructing, reconstructing, repairing, refitting, finishing or breaking up ships or vessels; or
(vi) preserving or storing any article in cold storage;