On 13-07-2022, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued the Special Economic Zones (Third Amendment) Rules, 2022 to further amend the Special Economic Zones Rules, 2006. A new Rule 43A has been introduced which provides that a Unit may permit its employees, including contractual employees, to work from home or from any place outside the Special Economic Zone.

Key points:

  • The Unit must submit its proposal for work from home to the Development Commissioner through email or physical application, which must contain the terms and conditions of work from home, including the date from which the permission for work from home shall be utilised and the details of the employees to be covered by such permission for work from home.
  • The Development Commissioner, if satisfied that the proposal complies with this rule, may grant the permission to the proposal of the Unit which shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of such permission.
  • The Development Commissioner may, on receipt of an application for extension of the permission, if he is satisfied with the proposal and that the Unit and its employees have complied with this rule, extend the permission for such period, not exceeding one year at a time.
  • Every proposal for permission of work from home or an application for extension of the permission shall be submitted, at least fifteen days in advance, to the Development Commissioner, except in case of the employees who are temporarily incapacitated or travelling.
  • The proposal for work from home shall cover a maximum fifty per cent of the total employees, including contractual employees, of the Unit and the Unit shall maintain accurate attendance record for the entire period of permission for work from home and shall submit to the Development Commissioner, from time to time.
  • The Development Commissioner may approve a higher number of employees to work from home for any bona-fide reason to be recorded in writing.
  • A Unit, where, its employees are working from home or from any place outside the Special Economic Zone on the date of commencement of the Special Economic Zones (Third Amendment) Rules, 2022 shall submit its proposal for permission to the Development Commissioner within ninety days from the date of such commencement.
  • The work to be performed by the employee permitted to work from home under this rule shall be as per the services approved for the Unit, and the work is related to a project of the Unit.
  • The Unit shall ensure export revenue of the resultant products or services to be accounted for by the Unit to which the employee is tagged.
  • Where an employee ceases to be part of the project of the Unit, the employee shall be untagged from the Unit and the Unit shall surrender the identity card.
  • The Unit may provide to an employee such goods, including laptop, computer, video projection system, other electronic equipment and secured connectivity (for virtual private network, virtual desktop infrastructure) to establish a connection between the employee and work related to the project of the unit with the prior permission of the Specified Officer to temporarily remove such goods to the Domestic Tariff Area without payment of duty or integrated goods and services tax, subject to the following procedure.

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