By Vikrant Rana and Rupin Chopra
The Office of the Commissioner (Labour), Government of NCT of Delhi has notified a draft notification1 for the exemption of Warehouses as a category from Sections 15 and 16 of Delhi Shops and Establishment Act, 1954 on October 12, 2022.
The government has invited comments/ inputs from the public/ stakeholders on the proposal within 15 days of the publication of the notification.
Proposed changes to the Delhi Shops and Establishment Act, 1954
By the said draft notification, an addition is proposed to be made in Schedule I of the Delhi Shops and Establishment Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as “Act”).
In the said Schedule under “Establishment etc.” after the existing entry at serial no. 269 an entry titled “270 Warehouses in NCT of Delhi” is proposed to be added.
The said Schedule lays down exemptions from the provisions of the Act. By the draft notification, the category of Warehouses have been exempted from the applicability of Sections 15 and 16 of the Act.
Provisions of Section 15 and Section 16 of Delhi Shops and Establishment Act, 1954
Section 15 of the Act states that no shop or commercial establishment shall be opened or closed before and after such opening and closing hours fixed by the government.
Section 16 provides that no shop or commercial establishment shall open on a close day, which may be specified by the government as different days for different classes of shops or commercial establishments or for different areas. It further provides that every shop and commercial establishment shall remain closed on three of the National holidays each year i.e., Republic Day on January 26, Independence Day on August 15, and Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.
The exemption has been introduced to help warehouses are able to operate on 24X7 basis without being restricted by the opening hours, closing hours and close day specified by the government in sections 15 and 16 of the Act.
Conditions Imposed for applicability of the exemption
The exemption created in favour of warehouses is made subject to fulfillment of the following conditions-
- An employee shall not be employed or allowed to work for more than nine hours (including that of meal and rest) on any day and for not more than forty-eight hours a week.
- An employee shall not be allowed to work for more than five hours at a stretch.
- Overtime wages shall be paid to employees at double the normal rate of wages paid to them.
- An employer shall ensure that the records of the Biometric machine if maintained shall be preserved for the duration mentioned for the similar register/record, in the Act and Rules made there under.
- Shift working, if any, shall be in such a way that no employee is forced to work in night shift only.
- An employer shall make suitable arrangements regarding safety, security and transportation of all the employees, who have been asked to work overtime or in the shift beyond the normal working hours as prescribed in the Act.
- An employer shall install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) for videography of the establishment and preserve the same for not less than a period of six months and submit the same on demand from the Chief Inspector of Shops.
- Employees working on national holidays shall be given compensatory on leave in lieu thereof, and double rate of wages as overtime.
- Weekly off day will be allowed to employees in rotation.
- An employer shall ensure that the workers are provided all the legal benefits under various labour laws like Minimum Wages, Provident Fund (PF), Employees State Insurance (ES), Bonus, Leave facility and the same shall be displayed on the website of the shop/ establishment.
- Payment of wages of employees shall be made by cheque / Electronic Clearing Service (ECS).
1. Notification No.CIS/Exemption(CIS-01/Lab/2022/) available at https://labour.delhi.gov.in/sites/default/files/All-PDF/pdf.pdf