The Government of Gujarat has recently, on 7th March, 2019 released the Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act,2019 (“New Act”), to come into force on such date as the State Government declares in the official gazette. The New Act will be repealing the Gujarat Shops and Establishments Act, 1948 (“Old Act”), from the date of its commencement.
The New Act is however, not repealing the Gujarat Shops and Establishments Rules, 1962 and it will have the same effect as if made under the New Act, unless it is inconsistent with the provisions of the New Act or superseded by any other new rule in the future.
Key changes brought about in the New Act:
- Provisions for women
- Women will be able to work round the clock, upon fulfilment of certain safety conditions like pick and drop facilities, provisions of shelter, rest room, night creche, ladies’ toilet, adequate protection of dignity, honour and safety, protection from sexual harassment, and consent of the women concerned.
- Introduction of creche facility in shops and establishments where there are more than thirty workers. It will also allow groups of shops or establishments to provide a common creche within a radius of one kilometre.
- Registration process has been bifurcated. The processes are different for shops / establishments having less than 10 workers and shops and establishments with more 10 workers.
- Shops and establishments having less than 10 workers will have to intimate the Inspector by submitting an online application in the prescribed form together with such self-declaration and self-certified documents, within 60 days of commencement of business. The Application should also contain details such as name of the employer and manager, name of the establishment, nature of business, number of workers etc.
- Shops and establishments having more than 10 workers will have to submit application in a prescribed form for registration to the concerned Inspector, together with such fees and such self-declaration and self-certified documents as may be prescribed, within 60 days of commencement of business.
- Shops and establishments registered under the New Act will have a valid registration till there is change in ownership or nature of business. The provision of renewal has been done away with.
- Maintenance of Records
Records can now be maintained both manually or electronically.
- Wages for a worker working more than 48 hours a week has been increased to twice his ordinary rate of wages unlike in the Old Act where the rate was one and a half times his ordinary rate of wages.
- The total number of overtime hours will not exceed one hundred and twenty-five hours in a period of three months.
- Shops and establishments situated in Municipal Corporation Area, hospital premises, on National Highway, Railway platforms, Petrol Pumps and at at State Roadways bus station premises, may be kept open for 24 hours, provided the workers in such shops/establishments are complying with other provisions relating to shifting duties, overtime wages, fixed hours of work and spread over of work.
Source: Government of Gujarat