India: Employment Law Updates

Last Updated: 12 September 2016
Article by Harsimran Singh

Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation Of Employment And Conditions Of Service) Bill, 2016 – an outline

Recently (end of June 2016), the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016 ("Model Bill") was finalized and approved by the central government. The salient features of the Model Bill are as under:

* Applicable to establishments employing ten or more workers (except manufacturing units);

* Provides for freedom to operate 365 days in a year and opening/closing time of establishment. Due to enhanced working hours, more job opportunities would be created;

* Women to be permitted during night shift, if the provision of shelter, rest room ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity, transportation and such other amenities are available. This is aimed to enhance the gender diversity at work places and will also do away with the "protective discrimination" faced by women, who were exempted from working in night shift. The establishments will have to ensure safety and better working conditions for female employees by providing facilities such as late-night drops and crèches;

* Absolutely no discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions;

* Introduction of one common online registration through a simplified procedure;

* Adequate provisions on provisioning of clean and safe drinking water;

* A progressive step for providing lavatory, crèche, first aid and canteen by group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to constraint in space or otherwise by individual establishment;

* It provides for paid holidays for the workers which will be 18 days Earned Leaves, 8 days Causal Leaves, weekly holiday and 5 festival leaves in addition to National holidays;

* Exemption of highly skilled workers (e.g. workers employed in IT sector, R&D divisions etc.) from daily working hours of 9 hours and weekly working hours of 48 hours subject to maximum 125 overtime hours in a quarter. This flexibility will enable the establishment to better services to respective clients / international customers especially in the IT sector.

Without a doubt, the Model bill is intended to, including without limitation, (i) improving the working conditions of workers (ii) creating many more job opportunities for women along with safer working environment and (iii) providing favorable environment for doing business. At the moment almost all states have and follow modified and adopted version of the central Shops & Establishment Act and rules made thereunder. Likewise, the States have the discretion to either adopt the Model Bill or modify its provisions based on practical requirements or otherwise. Having said that, in case the Model Bill is adopted as it is by the states, the uniformity in legal provisions across states will enable the employers to have uniform human resource policies / manuals for all of its establishments in different states. This will also promote and improve the governance and ease of doing business across nation.

The Model Bill is expected to generate competitive and challenging spirit amongst the States and create an environment which is conducive for large scale employment generation at every level, especially in smaller and medium towns. It will also give a boost to employment opportunities to women as they will be permitted to work during night shifts with adequate safety and security provisions. Hailed as a welcome legislation the Model Bill is intended to encourage trade and commerce and bring uniformity in the varied laws applicable to establishments across all states and encourage conducive employment conditions across the Indian jurisdictional landscape.

Another underlying / indirect benefit from the Model Bill is the elimination of the licensing bureaucracy (since introduction of online registration) and therefore a lot of interaction with officials and/or procedural delays are done away with. This could be particular interest to foreign companies having or planning to have business operations in India.

The Model Bill is also seen as a medium for the State governments to accelerate economic activity(ies) and generate higher revenues; hence the law should be adopted immediately. Having said that, few areas that need attention for proper implementation of Model Bill may include:

  1. Steadfast, capable and trustworthy public transport;
  2. strong law enforcement;
  3. security arrangements to ensure safe travel;
  4. apt health care support (by way of standalone or group insurance policies), etc.

It is sincerely hoped that these issues will be tackled by the government agencies while adopting the Model Bill in letter & spirit.

Definitely issued in 'public interest', this piece of legislation is very promising and should uplift the working standards and make better the existing procedural mechanism; hence favorable to both employees and employers.

The Maternit y Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 – Highlights

Council of States being the upper house of the Parliament of India (or Rajya Sabha) recently passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (the "Bill") for amending the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (the "Act").

The Act regulates the employment of women in certain establishments (including factory, mines, plantations, shops and other establishments), employing ten or more persons (except employees covered under Employee's State Insurance Act, 1948), for certain periods before and after child-birth and to provide for maternity benefit and certain other benefits.

The key amendments as per the Bill include as under:

  1. The maternity benefit leaves are proposed to be increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks;
  2. The above leaves are now proposed to be availed eight weeks prior instead of earlier period of six weeks prior to the date of expected delivery. However, in case of a female employee who has two or more children, the maternity benefit will continue to be 12 weeks, which cannot be availed before six weeks from the date of the expected delivery;
  3. A new provision has been introduced under the Bill for granting 12 weeks of maternity leave to:
  1. a female employee who legally adopts a child below three months of age; and
  2. a commissioning mother, i.e. a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in another female employee;**

** In case of adoptive or commissioning mother, the 12-week period of maternity benefit leaves will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to such mother.

  1. The Bill also introduces a provision that provides for an employer to permit a female employee to work from home; subject to nature of work assigned to the female employee permits her to work from home. Further, work from home option can be availed after the period of maternity benefit leaves for such duration as is mutually decided between the employer and the female employee.
  2. Another provision introduced by the Bill requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide crèche facility within a prescribed distance, either separately or with common facilities. And that the female employee will be allowed four visits to the crèche in a day which visits will include rest interval available to her.
  3. The Bill mandates every establishment to inform (in writing and electronically) female employees at the time of appointment regarding available maternity benefits.

On a different note, below are details of maternity benefits of a few countries1


Length Of Maternity Leave (In Weeks)

United States
















United Kingdom


The Bill definitely puts India (with proposed 26 weeks for maternity benefit leaves) way up in the above chart. The Bill will come into effect from the date that it is notified in the Official Gazette after being passed by the Lok Sabha and receiving Presidential assent. There are reports that until the Bill is notified the proposed changes may be introduced in the form of an ordinance in order to bring earliest reprise to female employees.



The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions