Good news for employees! Centre announces fresh ‘work from home’ rules in India

The Union Commerce Ministry on Tuesday announced a fresh set of rules for Work from home (WFH) in companies across the country, according to which WFH is allowed for a maximum period of one year in a special economic zone unit and can be extended to 50 per cent of total employees.

The Department of Commerce has notified a new rule 43A for WFH in Special Economic Zones Rules, 2006. As per the official notification issued by the Centre, the new guidelines have been issued for SEZs after multiple requests from employees.

According to the notice issued by the Commerce Ministry, the rules have been designed on demand from the industry to make a provision for a countrywide uniform WFH policy across all Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The new rule provides work from home for a certain category of employees of a unit in SEZ.

The section of employees for which work from home rules have been issued are employees of IT/ITeS SEZ units; employees who are temporarily incapacitated; employees who are travelling and who are working offsite, as per the notification.

The Centre further said that WFH may be extended to a maximum of 50 per cent of total employees, including contractual employees of the unit. The notification further mentioned that work from home is allowed for a period of one-year maximum.

SEZ Units will provide equipment and secured connectivity for WFH to perform authorised operations of the units and the permission to take out the equipment is co-terminus with the permission granted to an employee, as per PTI reports.

In its notification, the Centre wrote, “Work From Home is now allowed for a maximum period of one year. However, the same may further be extended for one year at a time by the DC on the request of units.”

The Commerce ministry further wrote, “SEZ Units will provide equipment and secured connectivity for WFH to perform authorised operations of the units and the permission to take out the equipment is co-terminus with the permission granted to an employee.”

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