Maharashtra Adopts Shops and Establishment Legislation

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Manishii Pathak, Partner – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

The Government of Maharashtra recently repealed the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Act, 1948 and brought into force the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017 (2017 Act). The 2017 Act, which applies to all shops and commercial establishments in the State of Maharashtra (not covered under the Factories Act), wherein 10 or more workers are employed, introduced the concept of casual leaves and increased the accumulation of leaves from 42 to 45.

Increase to Limit of Gratuity Amount and Maternity Leave

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Manishii Pathak, Partner – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha recently passed an amendment to the Payment of Gratuity Act (Gratuity Act), which came into effect on March 29, 2018. Under the amendment, the ceiling on gratuity amount was increased from INR 1,000,000 (USD 16,000 approximately) to INR 2,000,000 (USD 32,000 approximately). Additionally, the period of maternity leave was increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks, pursuant to an amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.

Fixed-Term Employment Added as an Employment Category

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Manishii Pathak, Partner – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

An amendment to the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules, 1946, added “fixed term employment” as a new employment category, defining a fixed-term employment workman as one who has been engaged under a written employment contract for a fixed period. The amendment restricts an employer from converting existing permanent workmen (appointed until March 16, 2018) to fixed term employees, and provides the latter with benefits of equal work hours, wages, allowances and other benefits based on the period of service rendered. Special rules apply concerning termination notice or pay in lieu thereof.

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Author: Manishii Pathak, Partner – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Due to some ambiguities in the current provisions, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has proposed the Maternity Benefit (Crèche in the Mine Establishments) Rules, 2018, to amend the Mines Crèche Rules. The proposal includes: (1) the owner or agent of every mine wherein 50 or more persons are employed shall be required to provide crèche in accordance with the said Rules; (2) use of crèche shall also be permitted to children of temporary/daily-wage/consultant/contractual workers employed by the Mine; and (3) the distance of facility of crèche shall not be more than 500 meters from the entrance gate of the establishment.

Occupational Health, Safety and Working Conditions

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Author: Manishii Pathak, Partner – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has issued a draft Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions, 2018 (Code) inviting suggestions/comments from the general public and various stake holders. The Code has amalgamated 13 labor laws pertaining to health standards, safety, working hours, leave provisions, and welfare provisions for employees. The Government has sought comments/suggestions on the Code by or before April 22, 2018.