The Karnataka Shops & Commercial Establishments Act – What you should know?

Every commercial establishment in Karnataka must register under the Karnataka Shops & Commercial Establishments Act, (hereinafter called ‘K’tka S&E’) within 30 days of commencement of business. The Act regulates conditions of work and employment. This article throws light on some of the salient regulations of the K’tka S&E Act.

  • Every commercial establishment must register under the Act. However, the Act exempts certain types of establishments. Examples of exempt establishments are
    • offices of or under the Central or State Governments or local authorities, except commercial undertakings;
    • establishments for the treatment or care of the sick, infirm, or the mentally unfit, and
    • offices of legal practitioners and medical practitioners in which not more than three persons are employed
  • Registration under the Act is accompanied by the payment of fee that is pegged to the number of employees hired by the establishment. The fee starts from Rs. 500 where the establishment has at least 1 employee and goes up to Rs. 50,000 for establishments hiring more than 1,000 employees. For a detailed description of the slabs, please visit this link.
  • The Act regulates the condition of work as follows
    • Office timings : No establishment in the city of Bangalore shall open its office before 06:00 AM or stay open after 08:00 PM. However, this regulation does not apply, amongst others to the following establishments
      • Information technology establishments;
      • Bio-technology and research centres or establishments of epidemic and other diseases;
      • Shops dealing mainly in medicines or medical or surgical requisites or appliances
      • Stalls and refreshment rooms at railway stations, bus stands, ports or aerodromes
    • Hours of work : No employee shall be required to work for more than 9 hours on any day and forty-eight hours every week. The Act, however allows for 1 hour of overtime. Thus, including overtime, no employee shall be required to work for more than 10 hours on any day.
    • Overtime : The employee shall be entitled to wages at twice the normal rate for every overtime hour worked. The total number of overtime hours in a span of 3 consecutive months shall not exceed 50 hours.
    • Leaves & holidays
      • Every establishment shall remain closed for 1 day of the week. The employer will have to specify this day on a notice prominently visible to the employees.
      • Earned leave : Every employee shall be entitled to 1 day of leave for every 20 days of work performed by him / her. Leaves not availed by the employee in any particular year can be carried forward to the subsequent year. However, the total number of leaves so carried forward shall not exceed 30 days.
      • Sick leave : In addition to earned leave, the employee shall also be entitled to leave on grounds of sickness. The total number of days of sick leave shall not exceed 12.
  • The Act also regulates employee welfare and safety. The important provisions are
    • No child, of the age 14 years or less, shall be required or allowed to work in any establishment.
    • No woman employee shall be required or allowed to work  in any establishment during night. However, any establishment of Information Technology or Information Technology enabled service may employ women during night subject to the condition that the establishment provides facilities of transportation and security to such women
    • Every building of more than 1 storey shall be provided with at least 2 sets of stairs to provide sufficient & safe entry to  and exit from the building.
    • Every establishment shall be have sufficient lighting to ensure safe and comfortable work environment to the employees.

The Act also requires the establishment to maintain certain forms and registers. Important forms & registers under the Act are listed below

  • Form C – Registration Certificate of the Establishment – This has to be displayed at a prominent location. In addition, the name board of the establishment shall be in Kannada and where any other language is used, it shall be below the Kannada version.
  • Form F – Register of leave with wages
  • Form K – Inspection Diary
  • Form P – Notice of holiday
  • Form Q – Appointment Order
  • Form R – Particulars of women working during night shift
  • Form T – Combined Muster Roll cum Wage Register.

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