TN govt allows shops to remain open 24x7

T E Raja Simhan | | Updated on: Jun 07, 2019

Women employees will not be required to work beyond 8 pm under normal circumstances | Photo Credit: Bijoy Ghosh

11 conditions prescribed to ensure safety and welfare of employees, especially women

In a bid to boost employment generation and help the retail industry, the Tamil Nadu government has allowed shops and establishments in the State to function 24x7 on all days, initially for a period of three years. A gazette notification to this effect was issued on May 28 by the State’s Labour Department.

After Maharashtra, Gujarat and more recently Haryana, Tamil Nadu will be the fourth State to allow shops and establishments to remain open round the clock.

Industry demand

With a number of companies, especially in the IT sector, functioning round the clock, there has been a demand from the industry and also from retailers to keep shops and establishments open at night. The State government, “after careful consideration, accepts the proposal of Principal Secretary/Commissioner of Labour and decided to permit all shops and establishments in Tamil Nadu to keep open for 24X7 for all days of the year, initially for three years,” the notification said.

The notification has prescribed 11 conditions to be followed by such shops and establishments. For instance, every employee shall be given one day weekly holiday on a rotation basis; details of every employee shall be provided in prescribed form and exhibited by the employer in a conspicuous place in the establishment.

Woman employees shall not be required to work beyond 8 pm on any day in normal circumstances. However, on obtaining written consent, a woman employee shall be allowed to work between 8 pm and 6 am, subject to providing adequate protection to her dignity, honour and safety, the notification said.

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), welcomed the announcement and said it would increase retail sales by at least 15 per cent. For retailers, it will be one more step in ease of doing business.

Consumers will be more happy with the flexibility of shopping at will, as some would prefer to shop late nights while some early mornings, he said.

There will be a big boost to employment as more number of people will be required to work on shift basis and also on holidays. In States such as Maharashtra and Gujarat, employment went up by 1/6th of the total employment in the retail sector, Rajagoplan added.

Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO of Anarock Retail, said it is a good move for employment generation as retailers who choose this option will have to seek additional employees, who can service the day and night shifts separately.

The positive impact of the State government’s move will be quite location-dependent and may not benefit the whole city. For instance, retail shops and establishments in areas with high IT/ITeS employee bases will possibly benefit. Many multi-national companies in the city also work round the clock, he said.

Despite the State maintaining that such employers will need to take adequate safety measures, it nevertheless does raise safety concerns, especially for women employees, Kejriwal added.

Published on June 06, 2019
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