Working on national holidays and on working on weekends or special days?


What law says on working on national holidays and on working on weekends or special days?


Generally Industrial Establishments (National and Festival Holidays) Act of the respective states takes care this subject - national holidays. For example, as per Karnataka Industrial Establishments (National and Festival Holidays) Act, 1963, when an employee work on a Holiday, the organization has to pay double wage or wage for the day and substitute holiday for another day.

The week off is governed by respective shops act or factory rules. Referred acts of a few states and it is mandatory to give one day off for an employee. I was unable to see any specific mention about the exception - what if an employee work on a week off day. It has been observed that companies normally offer a substitute off or compensatory off. I think the organization can make a policy to manage this with in the scope of the act.

Let’s listen to others in this matter and have more clarity


Concur with you, @Sree .

The holidays are governed by the provisions of Industrial Establishments (National and Festival Holidays) Act, The Shops and Establishments Act, Factories Act and the Negotiable Instruments Act.

The workers and employees are not to be compelled to work on the National Holidays principally the Republic Day, Independence Day, Labour Day and Gandhi Jayanthi.

That apart, if any employee is asked to work on a holiday, it has to be compensated as per the applicable laws.

Bhuvana Anand


Yes, your answer brings more light in to. One more clarification Bhuvana. If an employer gets a terms of employment like “you are bound to work for all days except weekly off and otherwise no work no pay terms will be applied”, and if employees agrees to this, can it be legal. Just relating to a query in another forum.



When the law explicitly states that the worker or an employee to work not exceeding XX hours in a day, should be given YY rest intervals, allows holidays/offs, etc., and if such worker or employee is asked to work for extended hours, it has to be compensated appropriately, failing which it is a violation of worker/employee’s right. Such worker/employee have the right to challenge this act of an employer.

In order to protect the workers interest the trade unions comes into rescue, collectively agree for certain terms and conditions.

That apart, when the employer by virtue of influencing position puts a worker/employee in a compelling situation to accept terms that comprise extensive work hours with no appropriate compensation, it is up to the worker/employee to decide whether such terms to be agreed upon or not.

The employee if agrees to such terms for a compensation in writing, the scope of denying it later, and disputing it will leave such employee with minimal room to defend. In such cases, the courts will examine the reasonableness in the compensation, place and nature of work and many other facts.

Generally, considering the fact of unemployment, the workers/employees agree to such terms. In fact, without any such agreement, the employees do work for long hours in many organizations. For the sake of employment, many neither refuse working beyond the stipulated hours nor challenge it as it lands them into the trouble with the employers.

Bhuvana Anand

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