Centre permits 100% WFH for IT unit employees in special economic zones till next year
power 2023-11-29 07:29:316129
Employees of IT units in special economic zones are permitted to work entirely from home through December 2023, according to government policy. The government has changed the regulations for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to fully permit work from home (WFH) up until December 31, 2023, with restrictions. “A unit may permit its employees to work from home or from any place outside the SEZ,” the commerce ministry said in a notification. In order to do this, the government modified the regulations for Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and authorised IT/ITeS units in SEZ to permit 100% Work From Home (WFH) until December 31, 2023, subject to certain restrictions. The terms of the notification stipulate that SEZ unit owners must inform the development commissioner of the relevant zone of the decision and must continue to operate from the location once it has been granted. (Also Read: Intel begins layoffs, likely to fire over 200 employees from sales, marketing departments; offers unpaid leave) Once the WFH starts, units planning future WFH can send an email notification to those units. The statement went on to say that workers working off-site, travelling, and temporarily incapacitated personnel are all covered by the decision and must be given duty-free items like laptops, desktop computers, and other electronic equipment for WFH or any other locations outside the SEZ without having to pay the IGST or services tax. The Center had permitted 50% of SEZ employees, including contract workers, to work from home in July. WFH was previously limited to a maximum of one year in an SEZ unit. Additionally, SEZ development commissioners were given the freedom to approve more applicants for WFH. However, the sector has noted that there were several issues with interpretation as well as challenges with compliance during the implementation of the standards. Ashish Aggarwal, VP and head of public policy at NASSCOM, said this is a major step towards ease of doing business. “Given the industry feedback that the earlier notification issued in July 2022 was posing operational challenges, the government has now simplified the SEZ rules to allow IT-BPM firms to implement a hybrid model based on their requirement. Now, till December 2023, only an email intimation without the need to submit a list of employees is needed,” he said.
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