Shops and commercial establishments across Tamil Nadu will be allowed to stay open all night with immediate effect. A state government order issued earlier today from the labour and employment department has said that in keeping with ministry recommendations surrounding uniform working conditions across the country, all shops in the state will be allowed to stay open 24 hours a day.
“The government, after careful consideration, accepts the proposal of the principal secretary and commissioner of labour, and has decided to permit all shops and establishments in Tamil Nadu to stay open 24X7 on all days of the year, initially for a period of three years, with the conditions specified in the notification,” states the Tamil Nadu government order.
On May 28, Sunil Paliwal, principal secretary to the labour and employment department had written to the Tamil Nadu government with a proposal to let all establishments remain open through the night. At first glance, the order seems to comply with all recommendations made by the principal secretary.
The conditions in the notification state that all commercial establishments will be allowed to stay open for 24 hours, for three years, thereby exempting it from provisions of the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act of 1947, which necessitates that these businesses down their shutters at 11:00 PM.
“The government of Tamil Nadu in public interest, hereby exempts all shops and establishments 10 or more persons, from the provisions of the act and permits to stay open 24X7 on all days of the year, for a period of three years, with effect from the date of the publication of this notification,” said the notification.
The order also directed changes to labour laws in Tamil Nadu. For instance, no employee should work more than eight hours a day, as per the notification, while in case of overtime employment, necessary allowances must be paid to the employee in question.
However, overtime work, it says, cannot extend to beyond 10.5 hours per day or 57 hours per week. All employees must be provided a day off, it said.
Women employees, according to the order will not be allowed to work between 8:00 PM and 6:00 AM, unless their consent is obtained in writing. If a woman employee should choose to work beyond 8:00 PM, necessary transportation must be provided by the employer or the shop-owner, it said.
When implemented, Tamil Nadu will be only the third state after Maharashtra and Gujarat, to allow all its establishments to remain open 24 hours a day. CNBC-TV18 learns that the order also applies to resto-pubs in the state, which could mean a big boost to the F&B service industry. However, sources in the government have said that TASMAC (State-run alcohol retail) outlets will continue to down shutters at 10:00 PM.