Tamil Nadu Allows Shops, Commercial Establishments To Be Open 24x7
All shops and commercial establishments in Tamil Nadu can now operate for 24 hours a day and seven days a week, according to a gazette notification issued by the Tamil Nadu government on Thursday (5 June 2018)
The notification issued under the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishment Act 1947 will apply for the next three years from May 28 to shops and establishments employing 10 or more persons.
As per the notification, every employee will be given a one-day holiday on a rotational basis with not more than 8 hours of daily work. In case of overtime, working hours of an employee should not exceed ten-and-a-half hours a day and 57 hours a week and wages should be directly transferred to the employee’s bank account. In case of violation of rules, penal action will be taken against the employer, states the order.
Ensuring Women Safety
The notification lays down provisions to ensure safety for female workers. According to the order, women employees would not be required to work beyond 8 pm, under normal circumstances.
However, a woman employee can work after 8 pm with her written consent as well as with assurance of adequate safety from the employer. The order further talks of providing basic facilities, including restrooms, washrooms, and lockers for women employees.
The government order lays down strict guidelines to set up an Internal Complaints Committee against sexual harassment of women under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
Tamil Nadu Government Emulates Centre Plan
In 2016, the centre came up with the Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation 0f Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, which would allow any journalistic or printing work, shops, restaurants, banks, theatre, or any other public amusement or entertainment to stay open 24×7. The Bill was legislated as a suggestive model for States to adopt or modify it as per local requirements.
Following the proposal by Principal Secretary of Labour, the Tamil Nadu government took a decision to permit shops and establishments to stay open 24×7.
Earlier, in 2016, Tamil Nadu had initiated the implementation of the bill for a period of one year, which was further extended for three years.
In 2018, Maharashtra became the first state to follow the Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill. Apart from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra is the only state to allow shops, hotels and restaurants to remain open 24×7.