New work from home rules for employees working in special economic zone units.
The Commerce Ministry announced new work-from-home rules which allow employees for a maximum period of one year in a special economic zone unit and may be extendable to more than 50 percent of total employees. Before India Netherland passed a law to establish “wfh” as a legal right.
Work from home is the new normal
Work from home becomes the new normal due to the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. Nowadays, remote jobs are in demand as it gives good revenue working from home. About two million employees work across over 350 SEZs, which contribute to over 25% of total exports from India. SEZs operate under different trade and business laws.
Notification released by the department of commerce has mentioned a new rule 43A for work from home(WFH) in special economic zones rules, 2006.
The new rules can aid employers to get their employees back at the office desk, as well as shape a hybrid work model that can provide employees the flexibility they are seeking for.
The Centre’s new policy brings benefits to employees working in IT/ITes/SEZs units, temporarily incapacitated employees, and employees who are traveling and working offsite.
Furthermore, the policy might also be extended to 50 percent of the total employees, including contractual employees of the unit.
For employees in SEZ units who are currently working from home, the notification has provided a transition period of 90 days to seek any sort of approval.
SEZ units include several large to medium sizes companies, like tech giants Tata Consultancy Services(TCS), and Infosys which offer incentives such as tax benefits but have to observe several regulations as well.
The government notification said IT/ITes companies employees have to submit their details to take permission to work from home. Companies are responsible to maintain an “accurate attendance record of employees” for the entire duration of the work from home(WFH), which is restricted to a year initially and can be extendable.
“ The industry demand to make a provision for a country-wide uniform work from home(WFH) policy across all special economic zones(SEZs)” the ministry states
Further, he also stated, “SEZ units will provide essential equipment and secured connectivity for WFH to perform authorized operations of the units and the permission to take out the equipment is co-terminus with the permission granted to an employee”.