Cabinet considers model bill allowing 24/7 working of shops

The union cabinet on Thursday considered the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016, which provides for freedom to operate 365 days in a year and fixing opening/closing time of the establishment.

The bill will cover only establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units.

It provides for employing women during night shift, if the provision of shelter, rest room ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation etc exists.

The bill seeks to ensure that women are not discriminated against in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions.

Registration can be made online and common through a simplified procedure.

Government will have powers to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employer for the safety and health of workers, including provision of clean and safe drinking water.

Other facilities include:

  • Lavatory, creche, first aid and canteen by group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to constraint in space or otherwise by individual establishment;
  • Five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays;
  • Exemption of highly skilled workers (for example workers employed in IT, Biotechnology and R&D division) from daily working hours of 9 hours and weekly working hours of 48 hours subject to maximum 125 over-time hours in a quarter;

The model bill would bring about uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for all the states to adopt it and thereby ensuring uniform working conditions across the country and facilitate the ease of doing business and generate employment opportunities.

The bill will now be sent to states/UTs to enable them to modify their individual Acts, if they so desire either by adopting the said bill as it is or after modifying its provisions as per their requirements.

This bill was finalised after detailed deliberations and discussions with public through internet and with employees/labour representatives, employers' associations/federations and state governments through tripartite consultative process.