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What is meant by idle time | Definition, Causes, Control

What is meant by idle time
What is meant by idle time

Meaning of Idle Time

Idle time represents time lost by workers when workers are paid on time basis, some differences between the time for which they are paid and that which they actually spend upon production is bound to arise.

This difference is known as idle time. Idle time shows the time for which they are paid but no production is obtained.

For example, time lost between factory gate and the department, time when production is interrupted by machine maintenance, tea brakes, etc.

Characteristics of Idle Time

Generally, the following are the characteristics of idle time:

(i) Problem of idle time is created only when the wages are paid on time basis.

(ii) Payment for idle time is made to worker but no production is obtained.

(iii) Idle time does not include the annual and festival leave.

(iv) Booking of idle time cannot be made for any particular job.

(v) Idle time is index of wastage of lime for workers, machine and tools.

Also Read – What is Cost of Labour Turnover | Causes, Effects Classification

Causes of Idle Time

Idle time causes may occur owing to:

(i) Production Causes

The productive causes are: power failure, machine break done, waiting for tools and/raw materials, waiting for work, waiting for instruction, etc.

Idle time due to productive causes usually controllable by proper planning, strict supervision and proper maintenance of plant machinery.

(ii)) Administrative Causes

Idle time is some cause by administrative decision. When there is surplus capacity of plant & machinery which the management decides not to work.

This usually happens during depressions when some of the machines have got to work below normal capacity and the regular workers are paid full amount of wages.

This is because the management does not wand to get rid of trained workers temporarily. Such idle time arises out of abnormal situations and is generally not controllable.

Also Read – What is Material or Inventory Control | Techniques of Materials Control

(iii) Economic Causes

Idle time may also be caused by fall in the demand of products, say due to server competition, seasonal nature of certain industries like wooden goods. ice cream industry, etc.. where production cannot be evenly distributed throughout year.

(iv) Other Causes

For example, time lost between factory gate and department, lunch break, tea breaks. setting the machine, change over one job to another job, factory, fatigue etc.

Classification of Idle Time

From the point of view of treatment in cost accounts, idle time is classified into two part viz.

(i) Normal idle time

This is that wastage of labour time which cannot one job and the commencement of the next. time spent in setting machine. etc.

(ii) Abnormal idle time

This is that idle time which arises due to reasons in no way connected with the usual routine of manufacture and for which employer must pay. For example, time lost due to break down of machinery.

be avoided and has to be borne by the employer. For example, the time taken in going from the factory gate to work site cctv. clasps between the completion of strikes and lockout, time lost in waiting for tools and raw materials, accidents, etc.

Abnormal idle time is attributed to defective planning. inefficiency or bad luck, etc. Such type of idle item can be controlled by proper planning and strict supervision.

Also Read – What is Installation of a Costing System | Conditions and Factors

Accenting Treatment of Idle Time

Normal and abnormal idle time are recorded in different ways:

(1) Accounting treatment of normal idle time

The cost normal idle time may be treated in one of the following two ways:

(a) Wage rate may be inflated so as to make allowance for normal loss of labour time. Thus, if a worker’s production time is only 7 hours during an 8 day and his hourly rate of pay is Rs. 3, the inflated wage rate will be 8/7×3=Rs. 3.43 per hour.

(b) It is charged to factory overhead: For this purpose, idle time is allotted standing order number. This helps in its effective control.

(2) Accounting treatment of abnormal idle time

Account of abnormal idle time is treated as loss, therefore, it is not included in cost accounts and is directly transferred to Costing Profit & Loss A/c.

Also Read – What are the practical difficulties in installing cost accounting

Control on Idle Time

From control point of view, idle time should be divided into two parts viz., controllable and uncontrollable. Idle time arising due to controllable causes should be properly analyzed and responsibility should be fixed on appropriate individuals.

It is advisable to prepare idle time card showing the analyzing of idle time so that action may be taken where necessary. The following steps may be taken to control idle time.

Also Read – What is Material or Inventory Control | Techniques of Materials Control

(a) Production should be properly planned so that imbalances in production are avoided and reduced .

(b) Repairs and maintenance of plant and machinery should be regularly undertaken so as to avoid break down.

(C) Raw materials, tools and instructions should reach the worker well in time so time is wasted in their waiting.

(d) Supervision should be tightened.

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