As per Section 79(1) (i) of the Factories Act, 1948 every worker who has worked for a period of 240 days or more in a factory during a calendar year shall be allowed during the subsequent calendar year, leave with wages for a number of days calculated at the rate of one day for every twenty days of work performed by him during the previous calendar year.
As per Section 79(3) of the Factories Act, if a worker quits his employment during the course of a calendar year, then he shall entitled to wages in lieu of the quantum of the leave to which he was entitled immediately before of his quitting of employment. A worker is also entitled to avail encashment of leave which has been accumulated prior to his leaving service.
Section 79(5) of the Factories Act provides for carry forward of leaves and restricts accumulation of the same as well, relevant portions of which are reproduced hereunder;
“If a worker does not in any one calendar year take the whole of the leave allowed to him under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), as the case may be, any leave not taken by him shall be added to the leave to be allowed to him in the succeeding calendar year: Provided that the total number of days of leave that may be carried forward to a succeeding year shall not exceed thirty in the case of an adult or forty in the case of a child.”
From a bare reading of the proviso to Section 79(5) of the Factories Act, it is clear that a worker who has not availed the whole of the leave allotted to him in a year is allowed to carry forward those leaves into the succeeding year. However, number of days of leave that may be carried forward shall not exceed 30 days. The Act places an absolute restriction on the number of leaves that a worker can carry forward and limits it to 30 days. This means that even if a worker whose total number of available days of leave exceeds 30 days at the end of a year, such a worker is allowed to carry forward only 30 days of leave into the succeeding year. Any leaves exceeding 30 days in the previous year lapse automatically with no requirement of payment in lieu thereof.
As per Indian employment law, therefore, the maximum number of days of leave that may be carried forward by a worker into the succeeding year is limited to 30 days.