New law for retailers, malls

New law for retailers, malls
Highlights

Seeking greater flexibility to retailers and malls on various issues including the timings of opening and closing of shops throughout the year, the Labour Ministry is holding its first tripartite discussion on Tuesday.

Offers greater flexibility on issues like timing of opening, closing of shops

The Model Act would bring uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for all the states to adopt it and ensure uniform working conditions across the country

New Delhi : Seeking greater flexibility to retailers and malls on various issues including the timings of opening and closing of shops throughout the year, the Labour Ministry is holding its first tripartite discussion on Tuesday. "Labour Ministry has called a tripartite meeting which is scheduled on January 5, to discuss the Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2015," a ministry official said.

According to the draft bill, the Model Act would bring uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for all the states to adopt it and thereby ensuring uniform working conditions across the country. At present, states have their own legislation which regulates shops and establishments like their closing and opening times, holidays and working shifts of women.

The bill says that women should be permitted during night shift and there should be no discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions. It will be applicable to shops and establishments having 10 or more workers except manufacturing units. As per the background note of the model law, the state laws are inadequate to deal with the issues related to shops and establishment.

The government has found that there is rigidity in opening and closing of shop. There are other issues like discouragement to women in employment, difficulties in registration & annual renewal (of shop permits or licenses), problems in maintenance of statutory records and arbitrariness in statutory inspections.

The draft bill also provides for online one common registration (of retailers) through a simplified procedure and power of the government to make rules regarding the safety and health of workers. It also provides for facilities like 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.

The draft law also made a provision for 12 days casual-cum-sick leave for workers, one day earned leave for every 20 days of work performed (can be accommodated up to 45 days), five paid holidays for festivals in addition to three national holidays, compensatory leave in lieu of overtime wage.

It also provides for exemption of highly-skilled workers (for example workers employed in the IT industry, biotechnology and R&D division) from daily working hours of 9 hours and weekly working hour of 48 hours subject to maximum 125 over-time hours in a quarter.

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