The Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016 is a bold step toward employment generation that is Centre’s priority. Shri Bandaru Dattatreya said while interacting with media on the issue. The Minister said It will also give a boost to employment opportunities to women as they will be permitted to work during night shifts with adequate safety and security provisions. It will cover only shops and establishments employing ten or more workers except manufacturing units. However, the States can change this as per their needs.
Elaborating further, the Minister said ,the main provisions of the Model Bill inter-alia, include freedom to operate 365 days in a year and opening/closing time of establishment, women to be permitted during night shift, if the provision of shelter, restroom, ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation etc. exits, no discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions, online 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, clean and safe drinking water, first-aid, lavatory, creche and canteen by group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to constraint in space or otherwise by individual establishment and five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays etc.
Counting the benefits the Model bill is intended to bring, the Minister said, the Model bill is aimed at (i) improving the working conditions of workers (ii) creating many more job opportunities for women and (iii) providing favourable environment for doing business.
Workers’ Rights and Welfare measures- The Model law provides for provision of common Latrines and urinals, Creche, Canteen facility by a group of employers, which is a very progressive step. It provides paid holidays for the workers which will be 18 days Earned Leaves, 8 days Causal Leaves, weekly holiday and 5 festival leaves in addition to National holidays.
Women- Allowing employment of women in night shifts, will enhance the gender diversity at work places and will also do away with the “protective discrimination” faced by women, who were exempted from working in night shift. The establishments will have to ensure safety and better working conditions for female employees by providing facilities such as late-night drops and creches.
The Model Bill provides for the creches. It would result in the making the workplace/shops Establishment attractive for the employment for women resulting in increase in employment of women.
Due to enhanced working hours, more job opportunities would be created. Moreover such jobs in Shops and Establishment are suited for women.
Business- The Model law would help the small shops from the restriction of opening and closing working hrs and weekly close day.
The provision of operating 24X7 is expected to boost up the retail market across the country and will give customer flexibility and convenience to shop any time.
The model law provides for exemption of highly skilled workers (for example workers employed in I.T., Bio-Tech and R&D) from, daily working hours of 9 hrs and weekly working hrs of 48 hrs subject to maximum 125 over-time hrs in a quarter. This flexibility will enable the establishment to better services to their clients who cater to international customers especially in the IT sector.
The uniformity in legal provisions across States/UTs will enable the employers to have uniform HR and leave policies across all establishment in various States and UTs.
In addition to the above the Model Bill would promote the fair competition among the States in improving the Governance and ease of doing business. The enhancement of working hours in shops and establishments 24X7 with adequate provision for protection of the workers will give rise to requirement for additional manpower which will result in additional employment. It is expected that the Model law if adopted by State will lead to growth in jobs especially in the retail, IT, hospitality and services sector.
The Cabinet in its meeting held on 29th June, 2016 considered the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016 to be sent to States who will modify their individual Acts, if they so desire either by adopting the said Bill as it is or after modifying its provisions as per the requirement of that particular State/UTs. The proposed draft model Bill was finalised after detailed deliberations & discussions with public, through internet and with employees/labour representatives, employers’ association/federations and State Governments through Tripartite Consultations process.
The Model Bill is a suggestive piece of legislation and has been finalised keeping in view the spirit of co-operative federalism. This gives liberty to States for fine tuning the Model bill to suit their requirements. This is expected to generate competitive and challenging spirit amongst the States and create an environment which is conducive for large scale employment generation at every level, especially in smaller and medium towns. It will also give a boost to employment opportunities to women as they will be permitted to work during night shifts with adequate safety and security provisions.
IndianBureaucracy.com wishes the very best.