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After Kerala, Tamil Nadu is set to mandate seating facilities (Right to Sit)

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  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    9th Sep, 2021


The Tamil Nadu government formally presented a bill in the state assembly requiring shops, storefronts, and commercial establishments to provide employees with seating facilities.

Key-highlights of the Bill

  • Tamil Nadu’s ‘Right to Sit’ Bill mandates seating facilities for workers. 
  • It is a welcome reform, underscoring the rights and dignity of labour.
  • While Kerala and Tamil Nadu have led the way in avoiding ‘on the toes situation’ during duty hours, this should go beyond states to become a national ‘right’.

Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments (Amendment) Ordinance 2018

  • Tamil Nadu’s move is inspired by a Kerala bill that was first tabled in July 2018 before it became a law in January 2019, after women textile workers in the state protested against harsh conditions in 2016.
  • In the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments (Amendment) Ordinance 2018, seating facilities were mentioned by way of adding a new section in the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1960.

Labour laws in India

  • Concurrent List: The Constitution of India empowers both the Centre and the State Government to enact suitable legislation to regulate and protect the interest of the employees.
  • Part III (Article 12 to 35) of the Constitution of India is the benchmark for labor laws in India.
    • It covers the fundamental rights of its citizens which include Equality before the law, Religion, Sex, caste, place of birth, the abolition of untouchability, freedom of speech and expression and prohibition of employment of children in factories.
  • The Union labour ministry has recently consolidated the 40 labour laws administered by the ministry into four codes, namely-
    • Wage Code
    • Social Security Code
    • Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code
    • Industrial Relations Code