The Government of Maharashtra has issued Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the “Amendment Act”) vide notification dated September 07, 2017. The Amendment Act extends to the whole of the State of Maharashtra, and shall come into force on a date to be specified by the State of Maharashtra in the Official Gazette and from such date, the Amendment Act will repeal the Maharashtra Shops & Establishments Act, 1948 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”)
The provisions of the Amendment Act shall apply to the establishments which employ ten or more workers, in contrast to the Act which applied to all establishments, irrespective of number of employees employed.
However, establishments which employ less than 10 workers shall give intimation to Facilitator appointed under the Amendment Act by submitting online application, within a period of sixty days from the date of the commencement of this Act or the date on which establishment commences its business.
Appointment of Facilitators
The Amendment Act provides for appointment of Facilitator. The functions of the Facilitator include without limitation to making examination of premises and of any prescribed registers, records and notices, examination of person who is found in any premises of the establishment and whom, the Facilitator has reasonable cause to believe, is a worker of the establishment, search, seize or take copies of register, record of wages or notices and exercise such other powers, as may be prescribed
Registration under the Amendment Act has been made online. Employers have to submit an online application within 60 days from commencement of the Amendment Act or commencement of business. The term of registration certificate granted under the Act shall be for a period as requested by the applicant. However, such term shall not exceed 10 years. The Amendment Act has introduced a new provision which provides that registration under the Amendment Act may be cancelled if registration is obtained through misrepresentation or suppression of material facts or by submitting false or forged documents or false declaration or by fraud.
Number of hours:
- The state government may fix, by notification in the Official Gazette, opening and closing of different classes of establishments and for different premises, shopping complex or mall or for different area or areas and for different period.
- No adult worker shall be required or allowed to work in any establishment for more than 9 hours in any day and 48 hours in any week.
- No adult worker shall be asked to work continuously for more than five hours unless he has been given a break of not less than half an hour. However, the working hours or weekly holiday may be relaxed in case of work of urgent nature with the previous permission of the Facilitator.
- The spread-over of a worker in an establishment shall not exceed 10 ½ hours in any day. If a worker is entrusted with urgent work, the spread over shall not exceed 12 hours.
Protection of women:
- A new provision has been introduced in the Amendment Act which states that there shall be no discrimination against any woman worker in the matter of recruitment, training, transfers or promotion or wages.
- Woman worker shall not work in any establishment except between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9-30 p.m. However, a woman worker with her consent, shall be allowed to work during 9-30 p.m. and 7-00 a.m. in any establishment in which adequate protection of their dignity, honour and safety, protection from sexual harassment and their transportation from the establishment to the doorstep of their residence as may be prescribed are provided by the employer.
- The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, in the public interest, prohibit or regulate the employment of women workers after 9-30 p.m. and before 7-00 a.m. in such shops, establishments, hotels, restaurants, residential hotels, permit rooms, bars, spa-massage parlours, lodges or any business or any trade or occupation in such area or areas as it may deem fit.
The Amendment Act now entitles every worker to casual leave of 8 days in a year. The workers can accumulate earned leave up to a maximum of 45 days. Also, every worker who has worked for a period of 240 days or more in a calendar year shall be allowed paid leave for a number of days calculated at the rate of one day for every twenty days of work performed during the previous year. A worker shall also be entitled to 8 paid festival holidays in a calendar year, namely, 26th January, 1st May, 15th August and 2nd October and four such other festival holidays as may be agreed to between the employer and the workers as per the nature of business, before the commencement of the year.
The Amendment Act has provided for welfare provisions of workers wherein employers have to take measures relating to the health and safety of the workers including cleanliness, lighting, ventilation and prevention of fire. Also, employers have to ensure provision of adequate supervision of the workers employed in the establishment. Some of the welfare provisions introduced are:
- Provision of first-aid facilities in the place of work.
- Provision and maintenance at suitable points conveniently situated for all persons employed in the establishment, a sufficient supply of wholesome drinking water.
- Provision of sufficient latrine and urinal for men and women
- In every establishment wherein 50 or more workers are employed, there shall be provided and maintained a suitable room or rooms as crèche for the use of children of such workers.
- To maintain a canteen for the use of its workers for establishments with not less than 100 workers