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Jul 29, 2022
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The Central Government vide the Notification issued by the Ministry of Commerce &  Industry, dated 14th July 2022, has further amended the Special Economic Zones Rules, 2006, as the Special Economic Zones (Third Amendment) Rules, 2022. 


In the said Notification and pursuant to the said SEZ (Third Amendment) Rules, 2022, a  new rule has been inserted – Rule 43A, which entails the detailed provisions on  “Work from Home” for employees working in the special economic zone only. The notification was issued on demand from the industry for making a provision for a  country-wide uniform “work from home” policy.


As per the said Notification and the recent Rules, Work from Home may be allowed in special economic zones (SEZ’s) for a maximum period of 1 year and (may be extended for a further period of 1 year on an application for extension of the permission by the  Unit) and may be extended to maximum 50 per cent of total employees, including  contractual employees of the unit. However, there is flexibility granted to the Development  Commissioner of SEZ’s to approve a higher number of employees (more than 50 percent) for any bona-fide reasons to be recorded in writing. Such proposal for permission of work from home or an application for extension of the permission shall be submitted at least 15 days in advance to the Development Commissioner, (except in cases of employees who are temporarily incapacitated or travelling).


The following employees are entitled, and covered under the broad provision of work from home – 


(a) Employees of the Information Technology and Information Technology enabled  Services Special Economic Zone units;  

(b) Employees, who are temporarily incapacitated;  

(c) Employees, who are travelling; and  

(d) Employees, who are working offsite.


The Unit intending to avail work from home policy shall submit its proposal for the same to the Development Commissioner through email or physical application, comprising – 


(i) Terms and conditions of work from home; 

(ii) Date from which the permission for work from home shall be utilized and; 

(iii) Details of the employees to be covered by such permission for work from home. 


Furthermore, the Notification also provides that in respect of SEZ Units, whose employees are already 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 90 days from the date of such commencement.  


The SEZ Units are required to provide such equipment and goods and secured connectivity for the purpose of work from home to perform authorized operations of the units and the permission to remove such equipment is co-terminus with the permission granted to an employee, subject to the following procedure, namely – 


(i) The Unit shall account for the goods removed temporarily; 

(ii) The Unit shall issue a certificate authorizing the employee by name and giving  the full specification, namely, serial number and model number and make of  the equipment intended to be taken outside the processing area temporarily  and a copy of the certificate shall be endorsed to the Specified Officer and  acknowledgement received by the Unit; and 

(iii) The Unit shall maintain a record of such certificate of authorization issued  under clause (ii) for temporary removal of equipment.


Read the Notification here.


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