Kerala Government issues Ordinance amending the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1960; allows women to work during the night shift
With the Legislative Assembly not being in session and the Governor of Kerala being satisfied that it is necessary to amend the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1960 (“Principal Act”), the Government of Kerala has through a notification dated October 4, 2018 issued the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Amendment Ordinance, 2018 (“Ordinance”) which is to take effect immediately.
- The definition of employee has been expanded to include any class of persons as the Government may, by notification in the Gazette, declare to be an employee for the purpose of this Act.
- Every person employed in a shop or commercial establishment will be allowed in each week a holiday of one whole day. Such weekly holiday cannot be availed by any person whose total period of employment in the week including any days spend on authorized leave, is less than six days. In this regard, the requirement for specifying the day of leave and affixing a notice to that effect in the shop or establishment under the Principal Act has been done away with.
- Further, the Ordinance clarifies that employees must be paid wages for the day of such mandatory weekly holiday.
- The Ordinance allows women and persons below 17 years to work in an establishment between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. The Principal Act allowed them to work between 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Further, provisions for the employment of women at night, i.e. between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. has been made. Employment of women during such hours can be done after obtaining consent of such women employee and ensuring that a group consisting of at least five employees having a minimum of two female employees is employed during such hours and adequate protection of their dignity, honour and safety, protection from sexual harassment and facility for transportation from the shop or establishment to the doorstep of their residence is available.
- Provisions for making available appropriate seating facilities in shops and have been made.
- Fines for the contravention of provisions of the Act have been enhanced.
- The Ordinance allows for the maintaining of registers and records electronically. A provision specifying that hard copies of such records must be made available at the time of inspection has also been incorporated.
Source: Government of Kerala