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The government has further liberalised Work From Home (WFH) regulations for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) units.
In order to allow Work From Home (WFH) for SEZ units, the Department of Commerce (DoC) changed the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) rules in July of this year by inserting a new rule 43A.
To further streamline the implementation of the modified rule across all SEZs, the DoC also released a Standard Operating Procedure in August of this year.
The Commerce Minister said in a statement on Friday that following the notification of Rule 43A and the issuance of instructions, DoC received additional submissions from NASSCOM as well as units asking more flexibility in the WFH facility (9 December).
Rule 43A has been replaced with a new rule, according to the ministry. "The topic was investigated in DoC in conjunction with stakeholders," the ministry said.
The salient features of the new rule are:
WFH regime is significantly liberalised based on consultation with all stakeholders.
An erstwhile regime based on permissions has been converted into an intimation-based regime.
WFH can be provided to up to 100 per cent of all employees of the SEZ unit.
WFH permitted up to 31 December 2023.
For units already availing WFH under the earlier regime, intimation could be sent by email till 31 January 2023.
Units seeking WFH in future can email an intimation on or before the date of commencement of WFH.
The government has stated that hybrid work arrangements are the new normal in the IT/ITES industry due to the widespread interruptions created by the pandemic.
The ministry said that the IT/ITES industry has lobbied the DoC to allow SEZ units to adopt a hybrid method of working and to provide a Work From Home (WFH) service for SEZ employee units.
Because of careful consideration of the industry's actual requirements and the potential economic benefits to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, the decision to build this centre has been taken.