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Shops, hotels restaurants and theatres can now stay open 24/7 in Maharashtra

Friday August 11, 2017 7:58 PM, & Agencies

Mumbai Shopping

In a landmark move which will boost markets, the Maharashtra Assembly on Friday passed Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill which will allow owners to keep their hotels, shops and other establishments open 24 hrs.

The bill was tabled in the house by the government on Wednesday.

At present, shops have to shut by 10 pm, commercial establishments by 9.30 pm and restaurants 12.30 am. After the passage of the bill by the state assembly, shopping at midnight, watching movie in a theatre at odd hours and having dinner at a restaurant - a long pending demand by the masses, has become possible.

The act applies to shops, residential hotels, restaurants, theatres and places of public amusement to which provisions of the Factories Act do not apply.

The act also applies to establishments, which includes businesses involved in banking, stocks, medical practice, architects, engineers, accountants, tax consultants and professional consultants.

According to a rough estimate, there are 38.5 lakh establishments in the state.

The Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017 also allows women to work in night shifst from 9.30 pm to 07:00 am with their consent and with the establishment providing safety measures, but no more than nine hours a day or 48 hours a week.

According to the act, overtime will be twice the wage rate. In establishments that work all seven days, workers will get a weekly holiday. Workers are also entitled to paid leave, maternity leave and welfare provisions including a creche and canteen.

By passing the bill, the government aims at creating jobs. Businesses and retailers have also welcomed the move. Labour unions however say the act will make workers more vulnerable, especially those in small establishments.

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