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Casual labour

             2001. (I) Definition of Casual labour - Casual labour refers to labour whose employment is intermittent, Sporadic or extends over short period or continued from one work to another. Labour of this kind is normally recruited from the nearest available source. They are not ordinarily liable to transfer. The conditions applicable to permanent and temporary staff do not apply to casual labour.

Casual labour on Railway should ordinarily be employed only in the following types of cases.

(a) Casual Labour (Open Line).- Casual labour are primarily engaged to supplement the regular staff in work of seasonal or sporadic nature, which arises in the day to day working of the Railway system. This includes labour required for unloading and loading of materials, special repair and maintenance of tracks and other structures, supplying drinking water to passengers during summer months, (recoupment of man-days lost on account of absenteeism) patrolling of tracks, etc. casual labour so engaged in the operation and maintenance of railway system is referred to as open line casual labour, as distinct from project Casual Labour, described in para (b) infra.

(b) Casual Labour (Project)- Casual Labour are also engaged on Railways for execution of Railway projects, such as new lines, doubling, conversion, construction of building, track Renewals, Route Relay interlocking Railway Electrification, Setting up of new units etc. Casual Labour so engaged are referred to as “Project Casual Labour”.

            Such of those casual Labour engaged on open line (revenue) works, who continue to do the same work for which they were engaged or other work of the same type for more than 120 days without a break will be treated as temporary (i.e. given “temporary status”) on completion of 120 days continuous employment.

            Casual Labour on projects who have put in 180 days of continuous employment on works of the same type are entitled for 1/30th of the minimum of the appropriate scale of pay plus Dearness allowance.

            Before giving regular scale of pay or 1/30th of the minimum of the scale plus Dearness Allowance on completion of 120 days or 180 days continuous employment as the case may be, a preliminary verification in regard to age and completion of requisite number of days of continuous service should be done by the assistant officer and the person should also be got medically examined and only if found fit he should be granted regular scales of pay.

(ii) Grant of temporary status to project casual labour is regulated by instructions separately issued by the Railway Board. As far as possible, casual labourers required for new projects must be taken from amongst those casual labourers. Who have worked on the open line/projects in the past in preference to outsiders.

(ii) Seasonal labour sanctioned for specific works of less than 120 days duration. If such labour is shifted from one work to another of the same type and the total continuous period of such work at any time is more than 120 days duration, they should be treated as temporary (i.e. granted “temporary status” after the expiry of 120 days continuous employment.  

            Note (I)- The term ‘same type of work’ should not be too rigidly interpreted so as to cause undue hardship to casual labour by way of break in service because of a slight change in the type of work in the same unit. The term ‘same type of work’ should be implemented in spirit as well as in letter and no casual labour should suffer in this matter by rigid interpretation of the term. The various types of work may be grouped as under:

(a) Track renewals and linking Ballasting, re-sleepering, relaying, etc.
(b) Masonry and concrete work: Work on buildings, bridges, quarter, platforms etc.
(c) Steel work:- Erection of bridge girders, sheds, shelters, etc.
(d) Earth work:- Foundation bank, platforms, etc. 
(e) All work, performed by the unskilled casual labour working under the same I.O.W., P.W. I. and Bridge inspector etc. should be treated as the same typed of work.
(f) S&T and electrification- All casual labour employed by CTI. CSI should be treated as doing the same type of work.

            Note (2):- “Project for this purpose should be taken as construction of new lines, major bridges, restoration of dismantled lines, and other major important open line works like, doubling widening of tunnels, Route Relay Interlocking, Railway Electrification etc. which are completed within a definite time limit. The General Manager/Heads of Departments concerned, in consultation with the FA&CAO will decide whether a particular open work is a ‘Project’ or not. If the through track renewals include replacement of lighter section of Rails by a heavier section or increasing density of sleepers or provision of additional depth of ballast etc., these should be treated as works leading to an improvement in the carrying capacity of the Railway and as such irrespective of any financial limit they should be treated as 'Project ', Casual renewals' or other 'Through Renewals' which do not lead to any improvement in the carrying capacity of a railway will, however, not fall within the definition of a “Project’. Similarly signaling works like Route Relay Unlocking. Multiple aspect signaling, etc., and electrical works like electrification, provision of additional sub stations etc. should be treated as projects.

            Note(3):- Labour employed against regular sanctioned posts, which are vacant whether permanent or temporary shall not be employed on Casual labour terms. Casual labour should not be employed for work on construction of wagons and similar other work of a regular nature. Works of a regular nature. Cover workshops, loco sheds, train lighting establishments, carriage and wagon depots, yards and stations but exclude labour employed for loading and unloading. As regards civil engineering, signal and bridge maintenance, casual labour shall not be employed except for seasonal and fluctuating works, casual renewals and occasional renewals.

            Note (4).—On the open line, trolleyman should not be Casual labour.

            Note (5)—Casual labour should not be engaged in Railway printing press.

            Note (6)—Staff employed in unskilled categories for examining the wagons for water-right repairs during the monsoon season, for supplying water to passengers during hot weather, etc. should be treated as casual labour.

            Note (7).—Casual labour should not be employed/ retained in service beyond the age of 58 years.

            Note (8):- Once an individual acquires temporary status after fulfilling the conditions indicated in para (I) or (iii) above, he retains that status so long as he is in continuous employment on the railways. In other works, even if he is transferred by the administration to work of a different nature, he does not lose the ternporary status.

            (2) Should it become necessary to engage additional casual labour, discharged casual labour, who have not been re-employed they will be re-engaged, against future requirement in the order of priority on the basis of total periods of service prior to their discharge. The intake of "fresh faces" as casual labour is not permitted except where prior personal approval of the General Manager has been obtained; the power to accord such approval cannot be delegated to a lower level. The extent instructions issued by the Railway Board from time to time for regulating and controlling the total strength of casual labour (including those with temporary status) should be rigidly followed.

            (3) In those exceptional cases where engagement of “fresh faces” as casual labour is authorised personally by the General Manager, the procedure prescribed in regard to engagement of individuals as casual labour “fresh face” will be followed.

            (4) The percentage of reservation for SC/ST laid down for group ‘D” categories should be followed for recruitment of casual labour, in the manner laid down in the instructions of the Board, except in the case of those who are required for emergencies like flood relief work, accident, restoration and relief etc. 

            (5) In order to provide documentary proof of service, a casual labour should be given a card. A person wanting to be appointed as a casual labour should be asked to supply to the administration two passport size copies of his photograph at the time of his engagement as casual labour. This photograph duly attested by the competent-authority should be pasted on his service card another copy is the casual labour register. Casual labour should be asked to deposit Re. 1/- towards the cost of service card. The following particulars should be indicated by concerned supervisory official in the service card. 

(1) Name of the employee (in Block letters).
(2) Father's Name (in Block letters).
(3) Date of birth.
(4) Age at initial casual employment, year, month.
(5) Personal mark/s of - identification.
(6) Date of engagement.
(7) Date of termination.
(8) Nature of job on each occasion.
(9) Signature of the Supervisor.
(10) Name in full (In capital letters) & Designation of the supervisor.

            Note:- These should be cross references to LTI Register/ CL Card Number. In cases of re-engagement as casual labour previous spell of employment be checked up by Supervisors concerned including checks from the original paid vouchers.

            The service cards should be in the form of-a booklet and should have stiff card board binding. On page I on the left side detailed instructions should be printed for the guidance of casual labourers. These instructions should be in bilingual form both in English and Hindi In addition. Railways may add a local language of the area subjects to convenience. The service card should be machine numbered and account of service cards maintained in divisional office.

            Casual labour engaged for short duration like a week or ten days for work of short duration or for emer­gencies like restoration of breaches etc., will not, however, be issued cards, nor their names entered in Casual Labour Register.

            (6.1) Loss of the card should be reported to the nea­rest police station and a copy of FIR lodged with the police should be given to the Railway authorities on the basis of which a duplicate card may be issued on a charge of Rs. 2/-. The issuing authority should satisfy himself that the duplicate is being issued to the same person to whom the original was issued and failure on his part on this score would be punishable under D& A rules.

            (6.2) Casual Labour Registers will be maintained in accordance with instructions in this regard issued from time to time by the Railway Board.

             2002. Entitlements and privileges admissible to Casual Labour.—Casual Labour are not eligible for any entitlement and privileges other than those statutorily admissible under the various Acts, such as. Minimum Wage Act, Workmen's Compensation Act, etc. or those specifically sanctioned by the Railway Board from time to time.

             2003. Breaks in Service.—The following cases of absence will not be considered as breaks in service for the purpose of determining 120 or 180 days or 360 days (as the case may be) of continuous employment:—


The period of absence of a workman, who is under medical treatment in connection with in­juries sustained on duty covered by provisions under the Workmen's Compensation Act.


Authorised absence not exceeding twenty days including three days unauthorized absence, for personal reasons. Absence of half a day should be reckoned as half a day only.


In the case of female casual labour, a period of absence of four weeks (in addition to 20 days authorised absence) may be allowed for maternity purposes.


On completion of works or for non-availability of further productive work, when casual labour on daily wages or in. regular scale of pay or 1/30th of the minimum of the scale plus Dearness Allowance, is discontinued and employed later when work is available, such gaps in service will not count as breaks in service for the purpose of reckoning of continuous service of 120 days or 180 days or 360 days as the case may be. (This provision is effective from 2nd October , 1980).


Non-performance of work on days of rest given under the Hours of Employment Regulations or under the Minimum Wages (Central) Rules, 1950 and on days on which the establishment employ­ing the labour remains closed, does not constitute a break nor will it be counted against the limit of twenty days referred to in (b) above.


The term "authorized absence" for this purpose covers permission granted by the supervisory official in charge to be away from work for the period specified.

             2004. Notice of Termination of service.— Except where notice is necessary under any statutory obligation, no notice is required for termination of service of casual labour. Their services will be deemed to have been terminated when they absent themselves or on the close of the day.

            Note-: In the case of a Casual Labour who has obtained temporary status after completion of prescribed period of continuous employment, the period of notice will be determined by the rules applicable to temporary railway servants.

            Casual labour should not be deliberately discharged with a view to causing an artificial break in their service. Where casual labourer have to be terminated due to non-availability of work for them the unit for their retrenchment will be that of an Inspector and Supervisor (as the case may be) in the case of casual labour on, the open time. For project casual labour on Zonal Railways, the unit for this purpose will be the Divi­sion-wise and Department-wise as per instructions issued by the Railway Board. Casual labour diverted from one unit to another will rank junior-most in the new unit.

             2005. Entitlements and Privileges admissible to Casual Labour who are treated as temporary (i.e. given temporary status) after the completion of 120 day or 360 days of continuous employment (as the case may be).— (a) Casual labour treated as temporary are entitled   to the rights and benefits admissible to temporary railway servants as laid down in 'Chapter XX III of this Manual. The rights and privileges admissible to such labour also include the benefit of D&A Rules. However, their service prior to absorption in tempo­rary/permanent/regular cadre after the required selection/ screening will not count for the purpose of sen­iority and the date of their regular appointment after screening/selection shall determine their seniority vis-a-vis other regular/temporary employees. This is however, subject to the provision that if the seniority of certain individual employees has already been determined in any other manner, either in pursuance of judicial decisions or otherwise, the seniority so deter­mined shall not be altered.

            Casual labour including Project casual labour shall be eligible to count only half the period of service rendered by them after attaining temporary status on completion of prescribed days of continuous employ­ment and before regular absorption, as qualifying service for the purpose of pensionary benefits. This benefit will be admissible only after their absorption in regular employment. Such casual labour, who have attained temporary status, will also be entitled to carry forward the leave at their credit to new post on absor­ption in regular service. Daily rated casual labour will not be entitled to these benefits.

            (b) Such casual labour who acquire temporary status, will not, however, be brought on to the per­manent or regular establishment or treated as in regular employment on Railways until and unless they are selected through regular Selection Board for Group D Posts in the manner laid down from time to time. Subject to such orders as the Railway Board may issue from time to time, and subject to such exceptions and conditions like appointment on compassionate ground, quotas for handicapped and ex-serviceman etc. as may be specified in these orders they will have a prior claim over others to recruitment on a regular basis and they will be considered for regular employment without having to go through employment exchanges. Such of them who join as Casual labour before attaining the age of 28 years should be allowed relaxation of the maximum age limit prescribed for group ‘D’ posts to the extent of their total service which may be either continuous or in broken periods.

            (c) No temporary posts shall be created to accommodate such casual labour, who acquire temporary status, for the conferment of attendant benefits like regular scale of pay, increment etc. After absorption in regular employment, half of the service rendered after attaining temporary status by such persons before regular absorption against a regular/ temporary/ permanent post, will qualify for pensionary benefits, subject to the conditions prescribed m Railway Board's letter No. E(NG)II/78/CL/12 dated 14-10-80. (Letter No. E(NG) II/85/CL/6 dated 28-11-86 in the case of Project casual labour).

            (d) Casual labour who have acquired temporary status and have put in three years continuous service should be treated at par with temporary railway servants for purpose of festival advance/Flood Advance on the same conditions as ARE applicable to temporary railway servantS for grant of such advance provided they furnish two sureties from permanent railway employees.

            (e) Casual labour engaged on works, who attain temporary status on completion of 120 days continuous employment on the same type of work, should be treated as temporary employees for the purpose of hospital leave in terms of Rule 554-R-I (1985 Edition).

            A casual labour who has attained temporary status and has been paid regular scale of pay, when re-engaged, after having been discharged earlier on completion of work or for non-availability of further productive work, may be started on the pay last down by him. (This shall be effective from 2nd October 1980).

             2006. Absorption of Casual Labour in regular vacancies.— Absorption of casual labour in regular Group ‘D’ employment may be considered in 'accordance with instructions issued by the Railway Board from time to time. Such absorption is, however, not automatic but is subject, inter-alia, to availability of vacancies and suitability and eligibility of individual casual labour and rules regarding seniority unit method of absorption etc. decided by the Railway Adminis­tration.

            (ii) (a) Casual Water men for summer season shall be eligible for temporary status on completions of 120 days of continuous employment.

            (b) For this purpose, various spells of engagement as casual water man may be aggregated provided the gap between two spells of employment has been caused due to season being over and/or there being no work for them in such establishment provided further that if a person engaged in the previous years is given an opportunity to work in the same hot weather establishment in the subsequent year but he fails to avail of that opportunity, he will have to start afresh in the event of his being so engaged again in future seasons. These provisions are effective from the summer sea­son of 1985. (E(NG)II/83/CL/117 dt. 25-1-85).

            (iii) As long as it is established that a casual labour has been enrolled within the prescribed age limit, relaxation in upper age limit at the time of actual absorption should be automatic and guided by this factor. In old cases where the age limit was not observed, relaxation of age should be considered sympathetically. The DRM’s may exercise such powers to grant relaxation in age limit.

             2007. Employment of Casual labour in skilled categories.— (1) Normally Casual labour should not be appointed in skilled categories without a trade test. A panel should be maintained by the open line to cater to the needs of the casual labour in semi-skilled and skilled categories. Where no panel of suitable candidates is available, engagement in semi-skilled or skilled categories may be done without trade test but it should be ensured that their suitability for semiskilled or skilled grade is adjudged well in time before they attain temporary status.

            (Board’s No. E(NG) II/CL/83 dt. 11-5-73)

            (2) When casual labour are engaged in skilled categories, the relevant scale for the purpose of determining their wages (as per orders regulating wages of Casual labour) will be that applicable to skilled artisans. On attaining temporary status they shall be paid in that scale. Similarly for Project Casual Labour in skilled categories with 180 days continuous service, consolidated wags shall be at the minimum of the scale of pay applicable to artisans plus DA. Payment on this basis will be admissible however, from the date of passing prescribed trade test if the same is later than the date of attaining temporary status or date of completion of 180 days, as the case may be, from whichever date is later. No casual labour in skilled category can be engaged without the approval of an authority lower than a Divisional Engineer.

            (Bd’s No E(NG)II/84/CL/58 of 20-12-85)

            Note- Past eases decided otherwise than in term of the letters dated 26-12-85 cited above or in terms of final orders of a court of competent jurisdiction, shall not be re-opened. Where, however, a person was continuing as a casual labour in a skilled category on 20.12.85 (date of issue of the said letter) his case will be regulated prospectively in terms of the provisions of the said letter (dated 20-12-85).

            (3) Casual labour engaged in work charged establishment of certain Departments who get promoted to semi-skilled, skilled and highly skilled categories due to non-availability of regular departmental candidates and continue to work as casual employees for a long period, can straightaway be absorbed in regular vacancies in skilled grades provided they have passed the requisite trade test, to the extent of 25% of the vacancies reserved for department promotion from the unskilled and semi-skilled categories. These orders also apply to the casual labour who are recruited directly in the skilled categories in work charged establishments after qualifying in the trade test.

            (4) (a) Casual labour should be subjected to medical examination as early as possible and preferably before grant of temporary status, Continued retention in employment is subject to qualifying in the prescribed medical examination. When casual labour who have put in six years service, whether continuous or in broken periods, are included in a panel for appoint­ment to Group D posts and are sent for medical ex­amination for first appointment to regular service, the standard of medical examination should not be the one that is required for first appointment but should be the appropriate standard as prescribed for re-examination during service.

            (b) Such of the Casual labour as are found, on, medical examination, unfit for me particular category for which they are sent for medical examination despite the relaxed standard prescribed for re-examination, may be considered for alternative category requiring a lower medical classification subject to their suitability for the alternative category being adjudged by the screening Committee, to the extent it is found possible to arrange absorption against alternative posts requiring lower medical- classification.