Centre allows ‘work from home’ for maximum one year in SEZ

The facility can be extended to 50 per cent of total employees, Commerce Ministry said.

Updated - July 20, 2022 05:44 pm IST

Published - July 20, 2022 12:17 pm IST - New Delhi

A woman, working from home, with her child.

A woman, working from home, with her child. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Union Commerce Ministry on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, said work from home (WFH) is allowed for a maximum period of one year in a special economic zone unit and can be extended to 50% of total employees.

The Department of Commerce has notified a new rule 43A for WFH in Special Economic Zones Rules, 2006.

Notification based on demand

The Ministry said the notification was issued 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.

Also read: Remote working new normal; 82% employees prefer working from home: Study

These include employees of IT/ITeS SEZ units; employees, who are temporarily incapacitated; employees, who are travelling and who are working offsite, it added.  WFH may be extended to a maximum of 50% of total employees, including contractual employees of the unit, it added.  It also said that there is flexibility granted to the Development Commissioner (DC) of SEZs to approve a higher number of employees (more than 50 per cent) for any bonafide reason to be recorded in writing.

"Work From Home is now allowed for a maximum period of one year. However, same may further be extended for a period of one year at a time by the DC on the request of units," the Ministry said.

In respect of SEZ units whose employees are already working from home, the notification has provided a transition period of 90 days to seek approval, it added.

"SEZ Units will provide equipment and secured connectivity for the purpose of 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," the Ministry said.

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