Cabinet okays law for shops, malls to remain open 24/7, 365 days

Cabinet okays law for shops, malls to remain open 24/7, 365 days

Cabinet okays law for shops, malls to remain open 24/7, 365 days

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a model law which allows shops, restaurants, cinemas, banks and other such establishments to be open round the clock for 365 days.

The establishments have been given the flexibility to open and close at their convenience.

The law also provides for women to be employed on night shifts with mandatory workplace conditions such as adequate protection of their dignity, cab services, shelter and ladies toilet. No discriminations shall be made against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions.

The model law exempts highly skilled workers like those in IT and bio-technology from daily working hours (9 hours) and weekly working hours (48 hours).

Mandatory facilities, including clean and safe drinking water, lavatory, creche, first aid and canteen, are to be made available by group of establishments, in case it is not possible by an individual establishment due to space constraint or otherwise.

The law covers all premises – barring factories – or shops with work related to printing, banking, insurance; stocks and shares brokerage; theatres and “any other public amusement” which is currently not covered under the Factories Act 1948. It will cover only establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units.

However, the implementation of the Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Bill, 2016, will depend on the states, as it only acts as an advisory to the state governments which will have the option to either adopt the model law or make changes to it according to their local needs.

The Cabinet nod to the model law, which was approved by the Labour Ministry, has, however, invited sharp reactions from the trade unions.