Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Seeking to provide greater flexibility to retailers, banks, shops as well as malls on various issues including the timings of opening and closing of shops throughout the year, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Model Shop & Establishment Act.
The Model Act would bring uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for all the states to adopt it and thereby ensuring uniform working conditions across the country.
At present, states have their own legislation which regulates shops and establishments like their closing and opening times, holidays and working shifts of women.
Central government has found that there is rigidity in opening and closing of shop.
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 law will not require Parliament's approval.
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).