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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 per cent of total employees

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 per cent of total employees, said the commerce ministry on Tuesday.

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

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.

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 per cent of total employees, including contractual employees of the unit, it added.

“Work From Home is now allowed for a maximum period of one year. However, the same may further be extended for 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.

“SEZ Units will provide equipment and secured connectivity for 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.

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.

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