Kochhar & Co. (India) Article: Legal Update — Exemption From Working Hours and Spread Over to Establishments in IT/ITeS and Financial Services in Gujarat

The Government of Gujarat, vide notification no. GHR/2024/19/LED/TGS/e-file/11/2023/2453/M3, dated February 5, 2024, has granted exemption to establishments engaged in IT/ITeS services and financial services from the provisions of section 12 and section 14 of the Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Act, 2019 (“Gujarat S&E Act”). These provisions stipulate that workers cannot work for more than 9 hours a day and 48 hours a week and must be given an interval of rest after working continuously for 5 hours. Section 14 further specifies that a worker’s spread-over should not exceed 10 hours a day, extending to 12 hours only in cases of intermittent or urgent work. However, this exemption is contingent upon establishments complying with other provisions under the Gujarat S&E Act, such as payment of overtime for work beyond normal hours, granting weekly holidays of at least 24 hours, and barring women workers from night shifts unless specifically exempted by labour authorities.

Conclusion: By granting exemption in the key sector of the economy, the government aims to provide flexibility to these industries that often operate round-the-clock. However, it is important to recognize that the conditions attached to the exemptions ensure that workers’ rights and welfare are safeguarded, striking a balance between operational needs and labour protection.