The Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act, 1948 (“Old Act”) has been replaced by the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017 (“New Act”).
Some of the important changes brought about by the New Act are mentioned below:
- Applicability: The Old Act was applicable to all establishments, irrespective of the number of workers employed. The New Act will apply to establishments employing 10 or more workers. Establishments with less than 10 workers are required to intimate the facilitator (in whose jurisdiction the business is located) regarding certain details about its business. The provisions of the New Act will not apply to establishments already having registration or renewal under the Old Act, until the expiry of their registration or renewal.
- Validity of the registration certificate: Under the New Act, the registration certificate will remain valid for such period as may be requested by the applicant , not exceeding a period of 10 years. As per the Old Act, the registration certificate was valid up to the end of the year for which it was granted.
- Overtime Limit: The Old Act permitted maximum overtime for 3 hours per week. Under the New Act, a worker is now permitted to work overtime for a maximum of 125 hours in a period of 3 months.
- Leave and Holidays: (i) a worker will be eligible to 8 paid festival holidays in a calendar year under the New Act as opposed to the 4 paid holidays under the Old Act; (ii) as per the Old Act, every employee who has worked for not less than 240 days during a year is entitled to leave for a period of not less than 21 days leave. As per the New Act, every worker who has worked for a period of 240 days or more in an establishment during a calendar year shall be allowed leave calculated at the rate of 1 day for every 21 days of work performed by him during the previous calendar year; (iii) the New Act has created a provision for casual leave of 8 days in a calendar year and increases the accumulation limit of annual leave from 42 days to 45 days; and (iv) every worker is entitled to earned leave accumulation up to a maximum of 45 days under the New Act as opposed to 42 days under the Old Act.
- Compliance: In order to promote ease of doing business the New Act requires registration and maintenance of records and registers to be done electronically.
- Crèche Facilities: Every establishment with 50 or more should provide suitable room as crèche for the children of such workers. A group of establishments can also provide a common crèche within a 1 kilometre radius of the establishment subject to the conditions prescribed by the chief facilitator.
- Working Days: The Amendment Act permits all establishments to work on all days of the week pursuant to the condition that each worker is granted a weekly holiday.
- Night Shift: Women are permitted to be employed for night shifts so long as protection and transportation measures are in place.
January 17th, 2018