Night Duty Allowance
Night Duty Allowance (NDA) is granted to certain specified categories of employees for performance of duty between 22:00 hrs and 06:00 hrs. Presently, each hour of night work earns extra ten minutes of day work. There are demands to grant Night Duty Allowance between 18:00 hrs and 06:00 hrs and for doubling of rates by equating each hour of night work to extra twenty minutes of day work.
Analysis and Recommendations
This allowance was dealt extensively by Mia Bhoy tribunal in 1969 and the present dispensation is based on the recommendation of the said tribunal.
Presently, the allowance is administered as per DoPT’s OM No.12012/4/86-Estt. (Allowances) of 04.10.1989, wherein every 6 hours of night work earns 1 weighted hour of day work, or each hour of night work earns extra 10 minutes of day work.
The Commission examined the various arguments given for the grant of Night Duty Allowance:
- Night Work Convention, 1990 of International Labour Organization, states in Article 8: “Compensation for night workers in the form of working time, pay or similar benefits shall recognise the nature of night work.”
- There are studies to prove the deleterious effects on health of prolonged periods of continuous night duty.
- Sleep is more likely to be interrupted during day time compared to night time.
- Transportation and Entertainment are generally planned keeping day time in mind.
This Commission is, therefore, convinced that the need for compensating night work is widely recognized and should be continued.
However, the practice of arriving at the rates of NDA needs to be uniform. It is seen that in the Railways the rate of NDA has been broad-banded and all employees at each level of Grade Pay are given the same rate of NDA. For achieving this broad-banding, the average of Minimum and Maximum of the entire Pay Band has been taken to arrive at the average pay. This appears to be incorrect because running Pay Bands were intentionally kept wide by the VI CPC to avoid stagnation. Hence to use the extremities of the Pay Band for arrival at the average rate of NDA is not appropriate. Moreover, with the computerization of pay rolls, the amount of Night Duty Allowance can be easily calculated for each employee.
Taking the above into account, the following set of recommendations is made with regard to NDA:
- The present formulation of weightage of 10 minutes for every hour of duty performed between the hours of 22:00 and 06:00 may be continued;
- The present prescribed hourly rate of NDA equal to (BP+DA)/200 may be continued;
- This amount of NDA should, however, be worked out separately for each employee. With the computerization of pay rolls, working out the amount of NDA automatically for each employee every month will not entail any difficulty. The existing formulation for giving same rate of NDA for all employees with a particular GP should be abolished.
- This formulation will extend to all employees across all ministries/departments who were already in receipt of Night Duty Allowance.
- A certificate should be given by the supervisor concerned that Night Duty is essential.