By a notification dated December 20, 2019, the Government of Uttarakhand notified the Uttarakhand Factories (Amendment) Rules, 2019 ("Amendment Rules"), which provide for revised fees to be paid at the time of registration of the factory and grant of license under the Uttar Pradesh Factories Rules, 1950 (as applicable to the state of Uttarakhand), as well as revised provisions regarding the number of workers in the factory in relation to latrine accommodations etc. The key features of the Amendment Rules are as follows:
- Revision of fees payable for registration and grant of license: The Amendment Rules provides for revised fees payable by the employer at the time of registration and grant of license of the factory. Additionally, the Amendment Rules provides that the license renewal fee to be taken from the factories is to be increased by 10% every five years, and that the next increase in the license renewal fee shall be effective from January 1, 2025.
- Revision of provision for latrine accommodations: The Amendment Rules provides for the number of latrine accommodations to be maintained in the factory for more than 100 and up to 100 workers. Further, it is mandatory for every factory to have minimum one toilet for men and women, respectively. Additionally, the Amendment Rules provides for sanitary napkins conforming to Indian standards to be provided and maintained in the women's toilets for their use, which must be replenished on a daily basis, and disposable bins with lids are to be made available in the women's toilets for the collection of used napkins, to be disposed off as per the procedure approved by the Chief Inspector of Factories.
- Increase in scope of exemption of classes of factories: The Amendment Rules increases the scope of the classes of factories and the classes of work exempted from the applicability of the provisions of Section 51 (Weekly Hours), Section 52 (Weekly Holiday), Section 54 (Daily Hours), Section 55 (Intervals for Rest) and Section 56 (Spread Over) of the Factories Act, 1948 in accordance with the provisions of Section 64 (2(d)) of the Factories Act, 1948 read with Rule 86 of the Uttarakhand Factories (Amendment) Rules, 2019 to include make adult workers engaged in mixing of dough, baking, drying and packaging noodles and pasta at noodles and pasta factories in addition to the biscuit factories.
DSK Legal's Observation: The Amendment Rules provides for a list of criteria to be met by factory owners or managers, in relation to provision of adequate latrine accommodations for men and women, as well as ensuring provision of hygienic conditions for women's washrooms including provision of sanitary napkins and disposable bins with lids. The Amendment Rules also expand the scope of the exemption granted to factories in relation to adult workers engaged in any work which for technical reasons must be carried on continuously from the applicability of the provisions of Sections 51, 52, 54, 55 and 56 of the Factories Act, 1948. Additionally, it also provides for increased fees that are payable at the time of registration of the factory premises as well as for license renewal fees
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