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The Maharashtra (Bombay) Shops

and Establishments Act, 1948

by
Prof. Rajkumar Bagadia

Object and Applicability


Object: To regulate the conditions of work and employment
in shops, commercial establishments, residential hotels,
restaurants, eating houses, theatres, other places of public
amusement or entertainment and other establishments.
The Act extends to the whole of the State of Maharashtra
and came into effect from 11th January, 1948. The Act has,
however been amended several times to suit the changing
environment.
In the first instance the operation of the Act is confined to
the Municipal areas specified in Schedule I to the Act.
However, the State Govt. is required to extend the
applicability to other areas/towns having a population of
25000 or more.
The State Government has wide powers under the Act.

Object and Applicability


The provisions of the Act are applicable to:
a) A shop including an office, a godwon or work place;
b) A commercial establishment where any business, trade or
profession or any work connected with such trade or
profession is carried on;
c) A residential hotel including a residential club;
d) A restaurant or an eating house;
e) A theatre;
f) Any other place of public amusement or entertainment;
g) A society, whether registered or not, which carries on any
business, trade or profession, whether for gain or not;
h) A charitable or other trust, whether registered or not, which
carries on whether for gain or not any business, trade or work
in connection with or incidental or ancillary thereto; and
i) Any other establishment as the State Govt. may specifically
declare.

Object and Applicability


Employee means a person employed directly or through
an agency, whether for wages or other considerations, in or in
connection with any establishment and includes an apprentice
but does not include a member of the employers family.
Shop is an establishment where goods are sold or where
services are rendered to customers.
A place were services are sold on retail basis is also called a
shop. Therefore, an establishment engaged in arranging
musical performance on occasions like marriage etc., is a shop.
An Association which neither carries on any trade or business
nor renders any service to outsiders, will not be treated as a
shop or commercial establishment, e.g. Flat Owners
Association.
It includes establishment of any medical practitioner,
architect, engineer, accountant, tax consultant.

Registration of Establishments
Every establishment is required to be registered under the
Act with the local authorities. The administration of the Act
is left to the local authority.
The employer of an establishment has to apply to the
Inspector of the local area concernedform fees, for
registration under the Act.
The application for registration shall be made within 30 days
from the date the establishment commences its work.
The Inspector, if satisfied, shall register the establishment
and shall issue, a registration certificate to the employer.
The registration certificate shall be prominently displayed at
the establishment.
The registration certificate so granted shall be valid up to the
end of the year for which it is granted.

Registration of Establishments
An application for the renewal shall be submitted not less
than fifteen days before the date of expiry and shall be
accompanied by such fees.
In case of delay in making application for renewal, there are
provisions for penalty/ additional charges for renewal.
The registration certificate may, at the option of the
employer, be granted or renewed for three years at a time,
on payment of the fees for that period.
If there is any change in the particulars, the employer has to
notify the same and get the registration certificate suitably
amended.
In case of closing down of his establishment, the employer is
required to notify to the Inspector within 10 days for
cancellation of the registration.

Name Board of the Establishment


As per Rule 20-A made under the Act, the name board of
every shop / establishment shall be in Marathi in
Devanagari Script (w.e.f. 30/06/1981).
It is permissible for the employer to have the name board in
any other language or script, in addition to Marathi. But the
lettering in Marathi of the name board shall not be less bold
than any other language or script.
Further, Marathi being the official language of the state, the
lettering of the name board in Marathi shall be essentially
written in the beginning.
As per rule 20-B: every employer shall display a notice on the
notice board in his establishment that No Child Labourers
are Engaged.

Working Hours for Shops & Establishments


The general rule about the opening hours of shops is that
they are not allowed to be opened earlier than 7.00 a.m. But
shops selling milk, vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, bread etc.
are allowed to be opened at 5.00 a.m. onwards.
The general rule about the closing hours of shops is that
they must be closed at the latest by 8.30 p.m. But shops
selling pan, bidi, cigarettes etc. are allowed to be kept open
up to 11.00 p.m.
Opening and closing hours of commercial establishments:
No commercial establishment shall on any day be opened
earlier than 8.30 a.m. and closed later than 9.30 p.m.
However, the State Govt. may fix later opening or earlier
closing hours for different classes of shops and/or
commercial establishments or for different areas or for
different periods of the year.

Daily and weekly hours of work


No employee shall be required or allowed to work in any shop or
commercial establishment for more than nine hours in any day and
forty-eight hours in any week.
Any employee may be required or allowed to work in a shop or
commercial establishment for a period in excess of the limit fixed as
above, if such period does not exceed six hours in any week.
On not more than six days in a year which the State Govt. may fix by
rules, for purposes of making of accounts, stock taking etc., any
employee may be required or allowed to work, in excess of the period
fixed as above, if such excess period does not exceed 24 hours.
Interval for rest Period for continuous work shall not exceed five
hours, i.e. no employee shall be required or allowed to work for more
than 5 hours before he has had an interval for rest of at least one hour.
The spread-over of an employee shall not exceed eleven hours in any
day.
Every Shop and commercial establishment shall remain closed on one
day of the week.

Opening and Closing Hours of Restaurants

No restaurant or eating house shall be opened earlier than


5.00 a.m. and closed later than twelve midnight for service.
Provided that an employee in such restaurant or eating
house may be required to commence work not earlier than
4.30 a.m. and shall not be required to work later than
00.30 a.m.
The State Govt. may fix later opening or earlier closing hours
for different restaurants or eating houses or for different
areas or for different periods of the year.
The State Govt. by notification, may fix such opening and
closing hours for different restaurants or eating houses or
for different areas, as it thinks proper which shall not be not
more than ten days in a year on festive or special occasions.

Opening and Closing Hours of Restaurants

An employee shall not be required or allowed to work in any


residential hotel, restaurant or eating house for more than
nine hours in any day, and forty eight hours in any week.
The State Govt. may, by notification, allow any employee to
work in a residential hotel, restaurant or eating house up to
a period of twelve hours in any day.
Interval for rest - Period of work of an employee each day
shall be so fixed that no period for continuous work shall
exceed five hours and that no employee shall be required or
allowed to work for more than five hours before he has had
an interval for rest of at least one hour.
Spread-over -The spread-over of an employee in a
residential hotel, restaurant or eating house shall not exceed
twelve hours.

Opening and Closing Hours of Restaurants

Holidays in a week - Every employee in a residential hotel,


restaurant or eating house shall be given at least one day in
a week as a holiday.
No deduction shall be made from the wages of any
employee in a residential hotel, restaurant or eating house
on account of the weekly holiday given to him.
If an employee is employed on a daily wage, he shall
nonetheless be paid his daily wage for the day of holiday.
Employer to furnish identity card to employee -The
employer shall furnish every employee in a residential hotel,
restaurant or eating house an identity card, containing the
necessary particulars, which shall be produced by the
employee on demand by an Inspector.

Theatres or Other Places of Public Amusement

A theatre or other place of public amusement or


entertainment shall be closed at the latest by 00.30 a.m.
An employee shall not be required or allowed to work in any
theatre or place of public entertainment for more than nine
hours in any day, and forty eight hours in any week.
He must be allowed an interval of rest of at least one hour
after five hours of continuous work.
His spread-over shall not exceed eleven hours in any day.
Every employee shall be given one day in a week as a
holiday.
No deduction can be made from his wages on account of
the weekly holiday.
Above restrictions can be relaxed in certain circumstances.

Employment of Children, Young Persons and Women


Any person below the age of 15 years is a child. No child can be
required or allowed to work in an establishment.
A child cannot work in an establishment even though such child is
a member of the employers family.
A person between the age of 15 and 17 years is considered to be a
young person. No young person can be required or allowed to
work, whether as an employee or otherwise, in any establishment
a) before 6.00 a.m. and after 7.00 p.m.
b) for more than 6 hours in any day,
c) for more than 3 hours continuously unless interval for rest of half
an hour is given.
No woman can be required or allowed to work, whether as an
employee or otherwise, in any establishment before 6.00 a.m. and
after 8.30 p.m.
No woman or a young person can be required or allowed to work
If the work involves danger to life, health or moral.

Leave with Wages/Pay


Every employee is entitled to annual leave with pay for 21 days
for 240 days of work performed by him.
An employee who has been in employment for not less than
three months in a year is to be given 5 days leave with pay for
every 60 days of work done by him.
The leave can be accumulated up to 42 days.
Half of the total leave pay due to an employee for the period of
such leave, is to be paid before the commencement of the leave.
A discharged employee is entitled to leave pay for the period of
leave to his credit.
The provisions of the Payment of wages Act, Employees
Compensation Act, Minimum Wages Act and Maternity Benefit
Act are applicable to all shops and other establishments under
the Act.

Leave Wages/PayTermination
Every employee shall be entitled to additional holiday on the
26th January, 1st May, 15th August and 2nd October every year.
For holiday on these days, he shall be paid wages.
Where an employee in any establishment to which this Act
applies, is required to work in excess of the limit of hours of
work, he shall be entitled to overtime wages, which shall be at
the rate of twice of his ordinary rate of wages.
The maximum limit for working overtime shall not exceed three
hours in any day.
Services of an employee cannot be terminated unless such an
employee is given at least 30 days notice in writing, or wages in
lieu of such notice.
However, an employee who has been in employment for less
than one year but more than 3 months need to be given 14 days
notice.

Health and Safety


Cleanliness - Sec. 39: -The premises of every establishment
shall be kept clean and free from effluvia and shall be cleaned at
such times and by such methods as may be prescribed. These
methods may include lime washing, colour washing, painting,
varnishing, disinfection and deodorising.
Ventilation Sec. 40: The premises of every establishment shall
be ventilated in accordance with such standards and by such
methods as may be prescribed.
Lighting Sec. 41: The premises of every establishment shall be
sufficiently lighted during all working hours.
Precautions against fire Sec. 42: In every establishment
precautions to protect the premises against fire shall be taken.
First-Aid In every establishment wherein a manufacturing
process is carried on, there shall be provided and maintained a
first-aid box containing such articles as may be prescribed.

Offences and Penalties


Every local authority shall appoint Inspectors for the area, as
it may deem fit for the purpose of carrying out the provisions
of this Act. Inspectors have wide powers under the Act.
Every employer and the manager shall on demand produce
for inspection of an Inspector all registers, records and
notices required to be kept under and for the purpose of this
Act.
Whoever willfully obstructs an inspector be punished with
fine which shall not be less than Rs. 1,000/-and which may
extend to Rs. 5,000/-.
For any offence contravening any provisions under the Act,
the employer and the manager, each shall be punished for
each offence, fine which shall not be less than Rs. 50/- and
which may extend up to Rs. 500/-.

Governments Power to Grant Exemption

When the employer and manager is guilty of the same offence


committed within a period of two years, amount of fine shall
not be less than Rs. 100/- and may extend up to Rs. 1000/-.
Governments power to exempt establishments from
the provisions of the Act are as follows:
(a)The Government, by issuing a general notification, can
temporarily exempt all establishments from all or some of the
provisions of the Act by suspending the operation of such
provisions on account of any holidays or festive occasions.
(b)The Government, by issuing a special notification, can
permanently exempt any establishment from all or some of the
provisions of the Act by making such provisions
inapplicable to that establishment on account of the special
requirements of that establishment.(Ss.4 &6).

Governments Power to Grant Exemption

The Govt. can suspend the operation of the provisions of the


Act on account of the following days and/or occasions:
a) Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussera, Jamshedji Navroz,
Pateti, Christmas, Month of Ramzan and ramzan Eid,
b) Any occasion on which a public emergency is declared
in this behalf by the Govt.
c) Public fairs or exhibitions or religious festivals
recognized in this behalf by the Govt.
d) Any Occasion deemed fit by Government in this behalf.
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