Karnataka shops with 10+ staff can do business 24×7 from today | Bengaluru News – Times of India
With the notification, the state government is making an attempt to create more jobs, generate some additional revenue and lend a helping hand to the retail industry that has been reeling under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The rule elevates Karnataka to the league of states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana and Tamil Nadu that allows shops and establishments to do business day and night.
Since several companies, especially in the IT sector, are functioning 24×7, there has been a demand from the retailers to keep shops and establishments open even at night. “The decision also forms a part of the ease-of-doing-business initiative of the Karnataka government. There was a demand from traders to extend business hours, especially after the pandemic-induced lockdown,” said state labour commissioner Akram Pasha. Though the government had come out with a similar order in 2019, it was put on hold after the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
Staff shouldn’t be made to work for over 10 hours
The government is hoping that relaxation of business hours will bring in some revenue. Most of the state’s revenue-earning departments like commercial tax, excise, transport and stamps and registration, are struggling to meet the set target for financial year 2020-2021. As far as safety issues are concerned, especially for those working at night, Pasha said all measures have been taken to maintain law and order. “We have issued safety guidelines to be adhered to by all shops. There will also be police patrolling all through the night,” he added.
The notification directs shop owners to hire additional staff if they plan to stay open for business round the clock. Every employee should get one-day leave in a week, and should not be made to work for over 10 hours, including overtime of two hours.
Women employees cannot work beyond 8pm on any day in normal circumstances, says the notification. “If at all the situation demands, the employer should obtain written consent from the employee to work between 8pm and 6am, subject to providing adequate protection to her dignity, honour and safety,” the order said. Transport arrangements should be made for women employees who work in shifts. The employees should also be provided with restrooms, washrooms, safety lockers and other basic amenities.
Labour department officials claimed after relaxing the rule, Maharashtra and Gujarat witnessed employment in the retail sector, growing one-sixth of the total number of jobs generated. “Consumers, especially in Bengaluru, will be happier with the flexibility of shopping at will,” they added. However, they admitted the positive impact of the move will mostly be location-dependent. For instance, retail shops in CBD and establishments in areas with high presence of IT/ITeS employees will possibly benefit a lot more than other localities.