Legal AdviceShops and Establishment

Shop and Establishments Act: Employee Rights and Privileges?

The employees working at the shops and commercial establishments of unorganised often do not enter into any Employment Agreement. In such cases, the legislation that provides protection to the employees is state-wise Shops and Commercial Establishment Acts. In this article we shall learn about the numerous rights being guaranteed to the employees by these legislation

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Rights Guaranteed to Employees Under the Shops and Establishments Acts: 

1.Hours of Work in Descent 

A person may not work for more than 48 hours in a week or 9 hours in a single day. However, employees might do overtime if (a) the total number of overtime hours worked by an employee does not exceed 50 per quarter; and (b) they are paid at twice the rate of normal hourly wages.

2. Rest and Meal Times Should be Spaced out Properly

There should be at least a half-hour break for every 5 hours of continuous work. Besides, the total time spent working, including his rest interval, can not exceed 10 hours per day.

3. Conditions for Employing Young Persons

i) Minimum employable age is 14, below which is prohibited as child labor. A ‘young person’ is between fourteen to eighteen years. 

ii) The total work hours of a young person shall not exceed thirty hours per week or five hours per day, excluding the intervals taken for meals and rest. 

iii) They should not be worked for more than three hours without at least half an hour of intervals.

4.Entitlement of ‘Day Off’ in a Week

No employee shall be required to work- (a) on a closed day (sanctioned holidays), of an establishment; and (b) on one day in a week, in any other establishment; and (c) before the opening hour of the establishment and after closing hour of the establishment (If a watchman works even on an off day, he must be allowed another off day in the week.)

5.Right to Holidays or Double Wages 

Compulsory holidays to be sanctioned on (a) the Independence day, Republic day, and Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and they shall be paid wages for the same; and (b) 3 other holidays (with wages) in a year in connection with officially declared festivals; and (c) Any employee required to work on any such holiday, he should be paid double his remuneration calculated per hour.

6.Right to Take Leave(s)

i) There may be 1 day’s earned leave for every 20 days of employment in a year. For young employees, the gap is every 15 days.

ii) Anyone discharged or dismissed from employment or resigning during the year, shall be entitled to wages in lieu of his unavailed leave(s).

iii) The unavailed leaves of an employee in a year, gets added to his leaves in the next year, provided the total number of leaves being carried forward doesn’t exceed 30. (In the case of a young person, 40).

These leaves are beside the mandatory 7- day sick leaves and 7 days casual leave per year.

7.Period During Which the Wages Are to be Paid

i) There shall be a fixed period during which such wages shall be payable not exceeding one month.

ii) The wages of every employee shall be paid within 7 days from the due date 

iii) In case of termination, the wages earned by an employer and the remuneration/wages fort unavailed leaves, shall be paid within 2 days. In case of resignation, such shall be paid within the next pay day.

iv) Non payment of the above can result in a penalty compensation up to 8 times the amount of wages withheld. 


8. Right to be Given Notice Before Removal

No employee can be removed except without one month’s prior notice. Except (a) if the employee is removed due to misconduct, or (b) If they haven’t been in the service for a continuous period of three months.

Removal without notice/pay can result in a penalty compensation to the employee equivalent to two month’s salary.

9. Conditions of Employment for Female Employees:

No woman employee shall be required to work in an establishment during night except if it is at a hospital, nursing or medical care center, old age homes, infirmaries, orphanages, asylums, etc.  No employer of any establishment shall knowingly employ a woman in any establishment during six weeks following the day of her confinement or miscarriage.

10.Maternity Benefits: 

Every woman who continuously worked for a minimum period of 6 months preceding the date of her delivery, shall be entitled to receive a payment of maternity benefit from six weeks immediately preceding to six weeks following the delivery.


Besides the above rights, there are also some duties. For instance  an employee can terminate his employment only after giving to his employer a 7 days previous notice. Otherwise, the employer may forfeit the unpaid wages of 7 days. Get in touch with the experts at Vakilsearch to make sure you’re doing the best job possible when it comes to compliance.

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