On June 29, 2016, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi finalized and approved the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016 ("Model Bill"). The States are free to either adopt the Model Bill or modify its provisions. The Model Bill has several provisions which relate to working hours, safety of women, discrimination against women, arrangement of crèche at workplaces, provision of paid leaves to employees, safety and welfare of employees, night shifts etc. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of this Model Bill is that it may allow the commercial establishments to operate round the clock and on all days of the week if so required.

This Model Bill is being hailed as a welcome legislation for shops and commercial establishments as it will encourage trade and commerce, more specifically in the area of retail. Also, the Model Bill will bring uniformity in the law across all states and encourage conducive employment conditions across the Indian jurisdictional landscape.

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