The Shop and Establishment (S&E) Act is applicable on all the commercial establishments; viz, business centres, offices, warehouses, stores, hotels, eateries, amusement parks, theatres, etc, nationwide. It is one of the most important regulations required to be complied with for any business.
- S&E Act is designated to protect the rights of employees by defining uniform benefits to the employees; irrespective of the industry and type of establishment he / she is employed with.
- Designed to regulate the payment of wages, terms of service, holidays, leaves, work conditions, hours of work, overtime work, maternity leave and benefits, rules for employment of children.
- S&E Act is governed by the Labour Department and regulates premises wherein any trade, business or profession is carried out.
- Most businesses in India are regulated by the S&E Act.
- Every State & UT has its separate Act and regulations.
- It regulates the working of Shops, Commercial establishments, and even residential premises running for business gain.
- S&E act regulates the following areas:
- Working hours, overtime, leave policy
- Rest interval for employees
- Opening and closing hours
- Closed days, national and religious holidays
- Annual, maternity, sickness, and casual leave
- Time and conditions of payment of wages
- Deductions from wages
- Dismissal of employment
- Cleanliness, Lighting and ventilation
- Precautions against fire
- Accidents reporting and Record keeping
- Maintain various Registers
- Display of notices/certificate
- Rules for the employment of children
- “Shop”: Shop means any premises where goods are sold, either by retail, wholesale, or services are rendered to customers. It includes an office, a store-room, godown, warehouse, or workplace, whether on the same premises or otherwise, used in connection with such trade/ business. A shop however does not include a factory or a commercial establishment.
- “Commercial Establishment”: Commercial establishment means a premise where any trade, business, profession or any work is undertaken, which may include society, charitable or another trust, journalistic and printing establishments, contractors and auditors establishments, educational institutes, premises where the business of banking, insurance stocks, and shares, the brokerage is undertaken, restaurants and eating houses, residential hotels, clubs, theatres and other places of public amusement or entertainment.
REGISTRATION OF SHOP AND ESTABLISHMENT
- As each state in India has its own Shop Act and follows separate regulations. The process, fee structure, documentation may be different depending on the State regulations.
- On starting a Shop or Establishment, one needs to apply for Shop Act Registration within the stipulated period set by State regulations.
- Application is to be submitted to the Chief Inspector in the prescribed Form according to the state regulations, containing following details:
- Name of the employer
- Name, address, and category of the establishment
- The Number of employees
- Other relevant detail as required
- The fee is calculated as per the number of employees.
- The Labour Department of each state has the authority for the registration process. Many States have a 100% online process, while some states are still following the manual procedure for filing.
- The Registration certificate is required to be renewed periodically as mentioned in the state regulations.
DOCUMENTS FOR REGISTRATION
While every state has its specific requirement, following set of documents are usually required across every state for seeking registration under S&E Act:
- Photo of Premises displaying name on board of shop / establishment
- Incorporation Certificate of Company / LLP
- List of Directors or Partners with ID & Address proof
- Partnership Deed in case of Partnership Firm
- Copy of PAN Card or Aadhar Card
- Address proof like an Electricity Bill of premises
- Government prescribed fees
AMENDMENT OF REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE
In case of change in following scenarios, an application for amendment of the registration has to be submitted to the concerned officer within timeline prescribed as per state act:
- Name and address of the establishment
- Nature of business
- Director, Employer, Partner
- Number of employees
The fresh certificate is issued post cancellation of the existing certificate.
CLOSURE OF SHOP OR ESTABLISHMENT
Due to any reason, if shop or establishment gets closed, the occupier must intimate the concerned Chief Inspector in writing within 15 days of the closure; who shall cancel the registration and remove it from the register.
BENEFITS OF REGISTRATION
- Proof of legal entity: Registration is a proof of legal entity and allows to conduct business within limits of the particular state.
- Business Bank Account: The proof as a legal entity helps in opening a business bank account.
- Smooth Inspections: it helps to smoothen the Inspection process whenever the Inspector visits the premises.
- Benefit under various schemes of Central & State Governments
SELF CERTIFICATION SCHEME (EASE OF DOING BUSINESS)
- Many State Governments have implemented a Voluntary Compliance / Self - Certification scheme to save employers from difficulties due to a plethora of labour laws, registers, and returns.
- The entrepreneur / employers are free to join the scheme anytime.
- They are motivated to comply with labour laws with self-inspiration without compromising with labourers' health, safety and social security.
- If registered under the scheme, sets of labour laws will be automatically covered and benefits can be availed under such laws including:
- Minimum Wages Act, 1948 & respective State Rules
- Payment of Wages Act, 1936 & respective State Rules
- Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970 & State Rules
- Payment of Bonus Act, 1956 & respective State Rules
- Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 & respective State Rules
- Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 & respective State Rules
- Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 & respective State Rules
- Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 & State Rules
- Few more; varied for states
- Those joining the scheme are exempted from surprise inspections under various labour laws and in place of multiple registers, one consolidated register is required to be maintained and few annual returns will be filed instead of the number of returns in various labour laws.
The penalties under the S&E act varies for states and are usually Monetary or Operational and in few cases Imprisonment as well.
While the monetary values are high, but the risk of closure notice always hang under various non compliance.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS - ALL STATES
For easy understanding, we have compiled state wise table covering key aspects of the act applicable in said State / Union Territory. The user may also click on links provided in the table to download copy of the act.