The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the ‘Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill Bill 2016’ which will allow malls, shops, cinema theatres to operate round the clock, throughout the year.
The bill which can effectively boost employment in the country, also provides for women on night shifts with adequate security, rest rooms and conveyance while also listing working conditions such as drinking water, canteens, first aid and lavatory.
Even smaller establishments, with more than 9 staffers will also be able to stay open longer provided the states in which they are in, agree to implement the model law.
This move is intended to end “protective discrimination” that reduced employment opportunities for women employees, finance minister Arun Jaitley said.
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 bill which was proposed by the labour ministry, is only an advisory and its implementation depends on states.
The bill has made a provision for five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that if big establishments like malls and cinema halls can run throughout the year on all days, the limitation on small shops is discriminatory.
The model bill apart from bringing uniformity in the legislative process, it will also ensure the ease of doing business among states.