Shop Act has its importance and relevance since the day it was incorporated. With the objectives to render statutory obligations and rights to employees and employers, the act created has a few interesting things you may not be aware of. Before you explore them, understanding the goal, scope, and coverage will help you, especially if you are starting a small business of your own.
Why do you need “Shop Act” in the first instance?
An entrepreneur has to comply with the provisions of the “Shop Act”, particularly when they have a business or an establishment. Shop act has been incorporated for the better administration of the working conditions and employment in shops, commercial establishments, restaurants, eating joints, hotels, theatres, and many such places of public entertainment. If you’re an entrepreneur with any of these businesses, this Shop Act application checklist can help you with detailed instructions on how to register.
What is the reach of the Shop Act?
The Shop Act is a state legislation and each state has drafted rules and regulations applicable to particular state What is common in the act is that it applies to each and every person in an establishment, whether with wages or without it and excludes the employer’s family members.
It is under the jurisdiction of the state government to exempt, either completely or for some duration, any establishment from any clause or complete act.
Few salient features of Maharashtra Shop and Establishment Act
- Shop Act is a mandatory requirement if the business premises are located within municipal limits.
- It is applicable even if you are doing your business for your home or residential premises.
- Based on number of employees you will have to apply online for either Shop Act Intimation or Shop Act Registration.
- Shop Act Intimation is applicable to establishments employing upto 9 employees.
- Whereas Shop Act Registration is applicable to establishments employing more 9 employees.
- It is compulsory to display the Shop Act Intimation/Registration certificate in a prominent place in the business premises.
2. Working Hours
- As per the regulations of the act it is required to display a notice in the place of business stating the working hours, rest-intervals and even weekly holidays.
- Businesses working in shift are required to display well in advance a shift schedule of respective employee, along with weekly holiday.
- There shall not be less than 12 hours of gap between two shifts.
3. Health & Safety
Keeping the establishment clean and hygienic also comes in the act and must be strictly followed. The premises should not only be free from dirt and garbage but also be odorless and cleaning time to time with prescribed methods like lime washing, color washing, disinfecting, and deodorizing.
The premises should be well lit with lights or natural sunlight, and state prescribed precautions from the fire. The employer must take all the measures to protect the premises and workers from the danger of fire. It is required to maintain duly equipped first aid box with first aid appliances and medicines.
4. Closure Of Business:
- In case the business is closed the employer has to notify the shop act authority within 30 days of the closure of the business.
- This is applicable for both Shop Act Registration and Shop Act Intimation.
- The employer has to fill applicable form and physical submit the same to the respective shop act authority.
- On receipt of the application and after verification of the forms the authority will remove the name of the establishment from the register of establishments and cancel the registration certificate.
5. Records & Registers:
- Every employer is required to maintain Muster roll cum wage register in the prescribed format either electronically or manually.
- The register can shall be either in English or Marathi.
- The register should be authenticated either digitally or manually by the employer or any manager who is authorised to do so.
- The entries of overtime should be recorded immediately after completion of such overtime.
- If the number of employees in an establishment exceed 9 then such establishments are required to apply for Shop Act Registration and all the provisions of registration will be applicable to such establishments.
- In case of Shop Act Registration, the establishments should apply for renewal of the certificate, 30 days prior to its expiry.
For any and every business person, especially for someone who has a small business or is starting a small business, a thorough check over the complete details of the act to avoid any legal issue after the commencement of the establishment is a must. The same is required as a good citizen as well as for the better of the establishment, business, and people working along with you.