A model law that allows shops, malls and cinema halls among other establishments to run 24x7 throughout the year got the Cabinet approval on Wednesday -- a move aimed at boosting job creation and consumption-led growth.
The law 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 main aim of this bill is to increase employment generation. Like in the case of malls, which operate all seven days in week and they don't have any (fixed) working hours.
All those shops where number of workers is 10 or more should be allowed to choose timings and days," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said addressing a press meet on Cabinet decisions.
In a meeting held this morning, the Union Cabinet approved Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill 2016.
The law, which covers shops and establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units, will not require Parliament's approval.
Jaitley said that "Since it is a model bill on a state subject, it will be sent to the states," adding, the bill also prescribed for compulsory holidays and provides for a provision for permitting women to work in night (shifts).
"The employment generation was less as there was protective discrimination. We used to protect them (women) but they were discriminated. Besides there are provision for transportation and other amenities," Jaitley said.
The model law also makes provisions for online one common registration through a simplified procedure.
It will help in generating additional employment as shops and establishments will have freedom to operate for longer hours, thereby requiring more manpower.
It 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), subject to maximum 125 over-time hours in a quarter.
The law 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 to enact the model law, which the states could consider for enforcement either by adopting the central law or necessary modifications by the state law.
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