The recent surprise raids conducted by the labour department in different areas of the city, reveal that many branded retail outlets flout the provisions of section 7 (1) of AP Shops and Establishment Act, which mandates the establishments to be shuttered by 8.45 pm.
The law also mandates establishments to fulfil seven provisions which include issuing letters of appointment, ESI, provident fund coverage, weekly offs on rotation basis as well as providing transportation to all employees and providing security for women employees who work beyond 8 pm. It is learnt that these establishments stretch working hours risking the security of the female employees.
Around 10 teams recently conducted raids on 34 establishments situated at RP Road, MG Road, Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Punjagutta, Ameerpet and Somajiguda. The checks concluded a few days ago and 204 cases were booked against major establishments such as Tommy Hilfiger, Nokia centres, Allen Solly, PCH Zone, Bata showrooms, Walden and Sangeetha mobiles among others.
“A majority of these shops fell short of complying with at least 2 to 3 provisions. First time offenders are usually let off with a nominal penalty but we plan to prosecute them if they continue to flout the norms. The punishment amounts to three years’ imprisonment,” said commissioner of labour B Ramanjaneyulu.
Of the 2.24 lakh shops and establishments in the state, 124 brand retail outlets have been granted permission to function on 365 days and 7 days a week, subject to the provisions mentioned and a deposit of up to Rs. 50,000 which is utilised by the department of labour. Small establishments like those selling milk, vegetables, fruits are allowed to function from 5 am to 10 pm. “There is a new addition which allows the shops housed within cinema theatres and multiplexes to function from 8.30 am till 1. 30 am on the commencement of the late night show,” added the commissioner.