The Union Cabinet clearing a Bill that allows shops, cinemas, restaurants and malls to stay open to run 24×7 throughout the year. For too many in the Capital, the weekend ends with a last call and police asking patrons to leave restaurants and bars. In a move that will not only facilitate ease of doing business but also generate employment opportunities, the Cabinet has cleared Model Shops and Establishment Act.
Model law cleared, shops, malls, cinemas can run 24×7.
The law covers establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units and provides freedom to operate 365 days with flexibility on timing to open and close. It also provides for women to be employed on night shifts with sufficient security and calls for better working conditions for employees such as drinking water, canteen, first aid, lavatory and creche. However, it won’t be mandatory across the country, and it will be up to the states to adopt the law, with suitable modifications.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill-2016 was aimed at ensuring uniform working conditions across the country, improving ease of doing business, and generating employment opportunities. Limiting the hours of operation of smaller shops puts them at a disadvantage because commercial establishments in malls have the benefit of staying open on all days and for longer hours.
“Women will be allowed to work at night also. So the employment opportunities for women will increase. But there will be a lot of conditions for security and transportation to be provided to them,” the Finance Minister said.
The law also provides exemption to highly-skilled workers like those in IT and bio-technology from daily working hours (9 hours) and weekly working hours (48 hours). This is designed to bring in uniformity in legislative provisions, making it easier for all the states to adopt it and ensure uniform working conditions across the country.