R116 Recommendation concerning Reduction of Hours of Work
Geneva, 26 giugno 1962
The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Forty-sixth Session on 6 June 1962, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to hours of work, which is the ninth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation designed to supplement and facilitate the implementation of the existing international instruments concerning hours of work:
by indicating practical measures for the progressive reduction of hours of work, taking into account the different economic and social conditions in the different countries as well as the variety of national practices for the regulation of hours and other conditions of work;
by outlining in broad terms methods whereby such practical measures might be applied; and
by indicating the standard of the forty-hour week, which principle is set out in the Forty-Hour Week Convention, 1935, as a social standard to be reached by stages if necessary, and setting a maximum limit to normal hours of work, pursuant to the Hours of Work (Industry) Convention, 1919,
adopts this twenty-sixth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty-two, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Reduction of Hours of Work Recommendation, 1962:
I. General Principles
1. Each Member should formulate and pursue a national policy designed to promote by methods appropriate to national conditions and practice and to conditions in each industry the adoption of the principle of the progressive reduction of normal hours of work in conformity with Paragraph 4.
2. Each Member should, by means appropriate to the methods which are in operation or which may be introduced for the regulation of hours of work, promote and, in so far as is consistent with national conditions and practice, ensure the application of the principle of the progressive reduction of normal hours of work in conformity with Paragraph 4.
3. The principle of the progressive reduction of normal hours of work may be given effect through laws or regulations, collective agreements, or arbitration awards, by a combination of these various means, or in any other manner consistent with national practice, as may be most appropriate to national conditions and to the needs of each branch of activity.
4. Normal hours of work should be progressively reduced, when appropriate, with a view to attaining the social standard indicated in the Preamble of this Recommendation without any reduction in the wages of the workers as at the time hours of work are reduced.
5. Where the duration of the normal working week exceeds forty-eight hours, immediate steps should be taken to bring it down to this level without any reduction in the wages of the workers as at the time hours of work are reduced.
6. Where normal weekly hours of work are either forty-eight or less, measures for the progressive reduction of hours of work in accordance with Paragraph 4 should be worked out and implemented in a manner suited to the particular national circumstances and the conditions in each sector of economic activity.
7. Such measures should take into account:
(a) the level of economic development attained and the extent to which the country is in a position to bring about a reduction in hours of work without reducing total production or productivity, endangering its economic growth, the development of new industries or its competitive position in international trade, and without creating inflationary pressures which would ultimately reduce the real income of the workers;
(b) the progress achieved and which it is possible to achieve in raising productivity by the application of modern technology, automation and management techniques;
(c) the need in the case of countries still in the process of development for improving the standards of living of their peoples; and
(d) the preferences of employers' and workers' organisations in the different branches of activity concerned as to the manner in which the reduction in working hours might be brought about.
(1) The principle of the progressive reduction of normal hours of work, as expressed in Paragraph 4, may be applied by stages which need not be determined at the international level.
(2) Such stages may include:
(a) stages spaced over time;
(b) stages, progressively encompassing branches or sectors of the national economy;
(c) a combination of the two preceding arrangements; or
(d) such other arrangements as may be most appropriate to national circumstances and to conditions in each sector of economic activity.
9. In carrying out measures for progressively reducing hours of work, priority should be given to industries and occupations which involve a particularly heavy physical or mental strain or health risks for the workers concerned, particularly where these consist mainly of women and young persons.
10. Each Member should communicate to the Director-General of the International Labour Office, at appropriate intervals, information on the results obtained in the application of the provisions of this Recommendation with all such details as may be asked for by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office.
II. Methods of Application
11. Normal hours of work shall mean, for the purpose of this Recommendation, the number of hours fixed in each country by or in pursuance of laws or regulations, collective agreements or arbitration awards, or, where not so fixed, the number of hours in excess of which any time worked is remunerated at overtime rates or forms an exception to the recognised rules or custom of the establishment or of the process concerned.
B. Determination of Hours of Work
(1) The calculation of normal hours of work as an average over a period longer than one week should be permitted when special conditions in certain branches of activity or technical needs justify it.
(2) The competent authority or body in each country should fix the maximum length of the period over which the hours of work may be averaged.
(1) Special provisions may be formulated with regard to processes which, by reason of their nature, have to be carried on continuously by a succession of shifts.
(2) Such special provisions should be so formulated that normal hours of work as an average in continuous processes do not exceed in any case the normal hours of work fixed for the economic activity concerned.
14. The competent authority or body in each country should determine the circumstances and limits in which exceptions to the normal hours of work may be permitted:
(i) in work which is essentially intermittent;
(ii) in certain exceptional cases required in the public interest;
(iii) in operations which for technical reasons must necessarily be carried on outside the limits laid down for the general working of the undertaking, part of the undertaking, or shift;
(i) in case of accident, actual or threatened;
(ii) in case of urgent work to be done to machinery or plant;
(iii) in case of force majeure;
(iv) in case of abnormal pressure of work;
(v) to make up time lost through collective stoppages of work due to accidents to materials, interruptions to the power supply, inclement weather, shortages of materials or transport facilities, and calamities;
(vi) in case of national emergency;
(i) for annual stocktaking and the preparation of annual balance sheets;
(ii) for specified seasonal activities.
15. In cases where normal hours of work exceed forty-eight a week, the competent authority or body should, before authorising exceptions in the cases mentioned in subparagraphs (a) (i) and (iii), (b) (iv) and (v) and (c) (i) and (ii) of Paragraph 14, most carefully consider whether there is a real need for such exceptions.
16. All hours worked in excess of the normal hours should be deemed to be overtime, unless they are taken into account in fixing remuneration in accordance with custom.
17. Except for cases of force majeure limits to the total number of hours of overtime which can be worked during a specified period should be determined by the competent authority or body in each country.
18. In arranging overtime, due consideration should be given to the special circumstances of young persons under 18 years of age, of pregnant women and nursing mothers and of handicapped persons.
(1) Overtime work should be remunerated at a higher rate or rates than normal hours of work.
(2) The rate or rates of remuneration for overtime should be determined by the competent authority or body in each country: Provided that in no case should the rate be less than that specified in Article 6, paragraph 2, of the Hours of Work (Industry) Convention, 1919.
E. Consultation of Employers and Workers
(1) The competent authority should make a practice of consulting the most representative employers' and workers' organisations on questions relating to the application of this Recommendation.
(2) In particular, there should be such consultation on the following matters in so far as they are left to the determination of the competent authority in each country:
(a) the arrangements provided for in Paragraph 8;
(b) the maximum length of the period over which hours of work may be averaged as provided for in Paragraph 12;
(c) the provisions which may be made in pursuance of Paragraph 13 concerning processes which have to be carried on continuously by a succession of shifts;
(d) the exceptions provided for in Paragraph 14;
(e) the limitation and remuneration of overtime provided for in Paragraphs 17 and 19.
21. For the effective enforcement of the measures taken to reduce hours of work progressively in pursuance of Paragraphs 4 and 5:
(a) appropriate measures should be taken to ensure the proper administration of the provisions concerning hours of work by means of adequate inspection or otherwise;
(b) the employer should be required to notify the workers concerned, by the posting of notices in the establishment or by such other methods as may be approved by the competent authority, of:
(i) the times at which work begins and ends;
(ii) where work is carried on by shifts, the time at which each shift begins and ends;
(iii) rest periods which are not included in the normal hours of work;
(iv) the days worked during the week;
(c) the employer should be required to keep, and on request to produce for inspection, a record in a form acceptable to the competent authority of the hours of work, wages and overtime for each worker;
(d) provision should be made for such sanctions as may be appropriate to the method by which effect is given to the provisions of this Recommendation.
G. General Provisions
22. This Recommendation does not affect any law, regulation, award, custom, agreement, or negotiation between employers and workers which ensures, or aims at ensuring, more favourable conditions for the workers.
23. This Recommendation does not apply to agriculture, to maritime transport and to maritime fishing. Special provisions should be formulated for these branches of economic activity.