The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a model law which lets shops, malls and cinema halls, besides other establishments stay open 24x7 throughout the year. The law is said to be applicable to establishments that have 10 or more employees.
The law will give business-owners the freedom to operate on all 365 days of the year, and allow for flexible opening and closing times.
Industry will get a much needed boost in more ways than one from this law. It can let Indian establishments work in sync with foreign outlets, and open and close according to the timings of the other country. It will help people who work in such Indian companies, providing services and products to those who are restricted by the morning-to-evening hours that typically malls, shops and film theatres operate in.
The new law, in turn, could lead to job creation, thereby reducing unemployment. It would also increase the spending power of those who work these jobs. There will also be an increase in expenditure from those who would otherwise spend money only during the normal hours the establishments are open in. In sum, the new law will bolster the urban economy by creating more employment and spending.
However, there are some riders for employers who want to be open 24/7, 365 days. The law says, women, if employed on night shifts, should be given adequate security. It also calls for better working conditions for all employees, like drinking water, a canteen, first aid, toilet and a creche.
"The Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill 2016 has been cleared by the Cabinet," a source told Press Trust of India.
The PTI report also said the model law would not require the approval of Parliament. The proposal had been planned by the Labour Ministry.
States can adopt this law, and also modify it according to their own needs and requirements.