The Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill 2016

Shops, malls, cinema halls and other commercial establishments will be able to operate 24x7 throughout the year as the Union Cabinet cleared a model law which allows such workplaces to operate round the clock.While malls already operate on all days, the hours can be further expanded, while smaller establishments employing 10 or more employees will also be able to stay open longer, provided respective states agree to implement the model law.
The law specifies measures to ensure safety of women working late. The proposed change in work conditions for women is intended to end “protective discrimination“ that reduced employment opportunities for women employees, finance minister Arun Jaitley told the media.
Gender equality and better working conditions are key focus areas of the law which will cover establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units and will provide freedom to operate 365 days with flexibility on opening and closing hours.
The bill provides for women to be employed on night shifts with adequate security, provision of rest rooms and transportation while also listing working conditions such as drinking water, canteens, first aid, lavatory and a creche.
There is also a provision to exempt highly-skilled workers like those in IT and bio-technology from a daily 9-hour work-day and weekly 48 working hours. However, it will be subject to maximum 125 over-time hours in a quarter.
The Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill 2016, proposed by the labour ministry , will not require Parliament's approval and can be adopted by states in totality or modified as per their requirements. This means the bill is only an advisory and its implementation depends on states.
An official said the law will help in generating more jobs as shops and establishments will have freedom to operate for longer hours round the year. In a pro-worker move, the bill has made a provision for five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that if big malls can run 365 days, the restriction on small shops is unfair.
The model bill will bring about uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for states to adopt it and thereby ensure uniform working conditions across the country and facilitate the ease of doing business and generate employment opportunities.
As per the bill, the government will have powers to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employers for the safety and health of workers.

No comments: