The legislative Bill that proposed to amend Shops and Establishment Act and to allow shops across Gujarat to function 24 hours was made effective from midnight Wednesday, the foundation day of Gujarat. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel announced this Wednesday while adding that Gujarat will probably be the first state in India to implement such a law.
Making an announcement in this regard, Patel said that the Bill was passed in the previous session of Gujarat Assembly and has now got the assent of President Ram Nath Kovind.
Patel said that implementing the Bill will allow various shops in the state to function 24 hours and will generate more employment opportunities for youth.
The Bill aims at “improving the working conditions for workers, creating many more job opportunities for women, providing a favourable environment for doing business, ensuring women are permitted to work during night shifts with adequate safety and security provisions, online registration through a simplified procedure… expected that it will lead to growth in jobs especially in the retail, IT, hospitality and services sector.”
The Bill allows women to work in night hours with their consent and with condition that the place of employment has certain basic infrastructure with provisions for safety and security.
It further states that any shop or establishment in municipal corporation area, national highway, railway platform, state roadways bus station premises, hospital premises, petrol pumps can remain open 24 hours on any day of the week. However, shops located in the municipality area or along state highways may remain open except from 2 am to 6 am. In other areas, shops located within the district or along minor roads may remain open except from 11 pm to 6 am.
Limiting the working hours to nine, the provisions of the Bill state, “no worker shall be required or allowed to work in any shop or establishment for more than nine hours in any day and 48 hours a week. No worker shall be compelled to work continuously for more than five hours unless he has been given a break of not less than half-an-hour.”