After much required detailed deliberations and discussions with employers’ associations/federations, employees/labour representatives and State Governments through a tripartite consultative process and last but not the least, the public through the internet, the Union Cabinet presided by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi considered the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016 on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. The Bill will now be sent to States/UTs to enable them to modify their individual Acts. They will have the option to either adopt the said Bill as it is or modify its provisions as per their requirements.
Shops and Establishments Bill 2016 Overview
Note: It is important to note that the cabinet approval, however, does not imply that the bill has become a law as the responsibility to adopt the central government’s proposed model Act will be on the state governments. Shops and Establishments Bill 2016 Overview
The Model Shops & Establishments Bill, 2016 is applicable to establishments or businesses employing ten or more workers barring the manufacturing units. The other Acts like the Factories Act would govern the operation of manufacturing units.
The proposed benefits for employees
- Powers of Government to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employer for the safety and health of workers.
- Clean and safe drinking water.
- Lavatory, creche, first aid and canteen by a group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to a constraint in space or otherwise by an individual establishment.
- Five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays etc.
- 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 overtime hours in a quarter.
Empowerment of women employee
Women will be permitted during a night shift, if the provision of shelter, restroom ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation etc. exists. Discrimination against women is not permitted especially in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions.
Operating times for businesses
One of the biggest changes proposed in the Model Shops & Establishment Bill, 2016 is that shops and establishment will have the freedom to operate 365 days in a year which means that malls, restaurants, cinema halls and other retailing establishments to remain open on all days.
The Model Bill is expected to bring uniformity in the legislative provisions by making it easier for all the States to adopt it. It will also ensure uniform working conditions across the country and make it easier and simpler to do business in India. This will also help in generating more employment opportunities. Moreover, in order to make the process of registration simpler online one common registration will be used. Shops and Establishments Bill 2016 Overview