The Union Cabinet on 29 June 2016 considered the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016. The Bill will now be sent to States/Union Territories (UTs) to enable them to modify their individual Acts, if they so desire. The States/UTs were given choice to adopt the Bill as it is or after modifying its provisions as per their requirements.
Key provisions of the Bill
• It will cover only establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units
• The Bill provides for freedom to operate 365 days in a year and opening or closing time of establishment.
• Women to be permitted during night shift, if the provision of shelter, rest room ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation, etc exists.
• No discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions
• Online one common Registration through a simplified procedure
• Powers of Government to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employer for the safety and health of workers
• Provision of clean and safe drinking water
• 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 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 over-time hours in a quarter.
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.
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.