On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet cleared a Bill that will allow commercial establishments like cinema halls and shopping malls to remain open to the public 24×7. This is a crucial step by the Government that is likely to generate more employment opportunities.
The bill, called the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill 2016, will now be sent to the States and Union Territories, who can adopt it in the current form or modify its provisions to their liking. The bill does not require Parliament’s approval.
Barring manufacturing units, the bill covers all commercial establishment which have 10 or more workers. It requires adequate security provision for for women who are employed on night shifts. It also calls for better working conditions for employees and facilities such as drinking water, canteen, first-aid, lavatory, and a creche.
The law also provides exemption to those in IT and biotechnology from daily working hours (9 hours) and weekly working hours (48 hours). The model bill stipulates five paid holidays for festivals, in addition to national holidays.