It has become common across organizations to require an employee to work on a weekly holiday in times of business or project based exigencies. In such a case, the employer must ensure that compliance requirements are adhered to in case an employee is required to work on a weekly holiday. This would depend upon whether the employer is registered under the Shops and Commercial Establishment of the respective State or the Factories Act, 1948.
As regards requirement of weekly off under the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1961 and the Factories Act, 1948, both mandate 1 whole day to be given as a paid holiday to every employee, for every six days worked. Where the employee is allowed to work on a weekly holiday in a factory, the employee is required to be given a holiday for 1 full day, either before or within 3 days from the day on which he was called upon to work on the weekly holiday. Further, overtime wages shall be payable to the employee, in case the weekly threshold of normal hours of work is breached. In the event an employee is required to work on a weekly holiday in a shop or a commercial establishment, only overtime wages shall be payable to the employee in case weekly threshold of normal hours of work is breached. The weekly threshold of normal hours of work in cases of shop or a commercial establishment or a factory under the above laws is 48 hours. Overtime wages are calculated at twice the rate of ordinary wages which the employee is entitled to.
Though it is not legally prohibited to adopt the route of requiring the employee to work on a weekly holiday, the employer must make sure that this remains an exception and does not become a routine, in which case the employer might face risks of non-compliance and prosecution.