Notional breaks cannot be used unfairly against employees: Punjab High Court.

The Punjab High Court in Bhajan Singh v/s PRTC (CWP-13281-2017), delivered on 31st January, 2023, held that notional breaks cannot be used unfairly against the employee. The judgement was presided by Honourable Mr. Justice Pankaj Jain.


A certiorari writ was initiated by the petitioner where claim for counting daily wager service prior to regular appointment towards the pensionary benefits had been rejected. The petitioner laid reference to the dates 24-08-1975 to 31-10-1976, and claimed for pension benefits for these work days. However, the respondent held that the work period claimed by the petitioner was not continuous. The respondent held that the petitioner had joined from 24-08-1975 and worked till 04-12-1975. Then, the petitioner was again appointed on 6-12-1975 till 31-10-1976. The respondent held that a day break existed during the working period of the petitioner.


The court held that Law in regards to notional breaks at the instance of the employer is well settled and has been repeatedly deprecated as unfair practice at the hands of the employer. The petitioner was working as a daily wager with the respondent. The court also highlighted that the notional break was not due to the reason of the petitioner’s unwillingness to work. The court also laid a reference to State of Punjab v/s Ram Singh (17) SCT 932.

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