A model law that allows shops, malls and cinema halls, among other establishments, to run 24×7 throughout the year received Cabinet assent on Wednesday.
The law covers establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units and will provide 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 adequate security and calls for better working conditions for employees such as drinking water, canteen, first aid, lavatory and creche.
“The Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill 2016 has been cleared by the Cabinet,” a source said.
The model law will not require Parliament’s approval. It will help in generating additional employment as shops and establishments will have freedom to operate for longer hours round the year, thus requiring more manpower.
As per the proposal mooted by the Labour Ministry, the model law can be adopted by states with a provision of modifying it as per their requirements.
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.
The Centre has been receiving suggestions from time to time to enact the model law, which the states could consider for enforcement either by adopting the central law or necessary modification by the state law.