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Yay! Very Soon Govt to Allow Cinema halls, Restaurants, Shops, Banks To Be Open 24X7

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24X7 Open

Last year, we had reported that India has improved 12 spots in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking. But it seems that the Indian Government isn’t yet satisfied with the improvements. As per reports coming in, our Government is all set to ease further rules for conducting business which include the provision to open Cinema halls, Restaurants, Shops, Banks 24*7, 365 days a year.

Central Govt. has sent a draft Cabinet note on Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Act, 2015, which will enable opening of all businesses 24*7, besides empowering women employees to work safely in night shifts and other labor reforms.

Govt. has asked all ministries to share their comments and opinions on this draft note, which has the potential to transform our corporate sector, and make it easier for entrepreneurs, bankers and local SMEs to offer even more refined and efficient services.

What Is Changing?

Establishments such as printing press, banking, insurance, stocks and shares, brokerage or theatres, cinema and “any other public amusement” are not covered under the Factories Act, 1948, which makes it tough for these businesses to run 24*7. In the new draft formulated by the Govt., amendments would be made so that these establishments are allowed to work whole day and night.

Union Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal said, “All shops and establishments not covered under the Factories Act, such as malls, cinema halls or an information technology firm, may be open 24X7 and allowed to work 365 days in a year. We will issue an advisory to the States, which will not require approval from Parliament, and it is up to them to take it up or make changes,”

In fact, for the first time ever, godowns, warehouses or workplace related to packaging activities would also be covered under this act, thereby enabling ecommerce firms to work more diligently and with more ‘legal’ options.

As per the information available with us, all such business establishments having 10 or more employees would now be covered under this Act, thereby encouraging ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

But State Government Has To Support This Initiative

As per the existing norms, State Governments have their own rules and regulations pertaining to opening and closing of physical business units in their states. Hence, even if cabinet approves the changes mentioned in the Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Act, 2015; businesses need to have approvals from the local bodies.

Shankar Aggarwal is however optimistic that State Govt. won’t have any issues, considering the fact that such reform will only help them increase revenues.

He said, “We have protected the workers’ rights while framing this law. It will also give boost to the revenues of the services sector which can open all day long now,”

Empowering Women Workers

The draft specifically mentions empowering women who wish to work in night shifts, as proposal has been submitted to make it mandatory for the employer to provide cabs facilities; crèches and ladies toilet for making it easier and safer for women to work in night.

The draft says that there should be “no discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotion.”

Some other changes which have been proposed include:

  • A worker in India will get mandatory 12 casual-sick leaves in a year
  • Mandatory 5 paid holidays for festivals
  • A worker will be required to work 9 hours a day, with a mandatory break of 30 minutes in between (this will benefit employees such as security guards who are expected to work non-stop)
  • Factory Inspectors would be abolished and Facilitators would be introduced who will act as a bridge between employees and employers (especially relevant in manufacturing industry)

Labor associations are ecstatic over this development, as they feel that both productivity and revenue potential of businesses shall improve.

Rituparna Chakraborty, president of the Indian Staffing Federation said, “This is a very encouraging move in terms of the ease of doing business, also keeping in mind that workers’ interests are protected. In the current scenario, many establishments, especially the e-commerce industry, want to operate 365 days throughout the day. The entire process of seeking approvals at present is very complex. It will give a big relief to such industries and help the logistics sector even more,”

We will keep you updated as more details come in..

[Image: Shutterstock.com]

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