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Tamil Nadu: Employees working in shops and establishments in Tamil Nadu, especially those in textile and jewellery showrooms, can now claim their 'Right to Sit' while at work.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday passed a bill that makes it mandatory for establishments to provide seating facilities to all employees.

With the passage of the Bill, Tamil Nadu will be the second state in India to legalise 'Right to Sit' after Kerala. The Bill which was tabled last week was passed by voice vote in the Assembly on Monday.

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The bill to amend the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act, 1947, was moved by Minister for Labour Welfare and Skill Development C V Ganesan.

The Bill noted that persons employed in shops and establishments in the State are made to stand throughout their duty time resulting in varied health issues.

'Considering the plight of the employees who are on their toes throughout their duty time, it is felt necessary to provide seating facility to all the employees of the shops and establishments,' the Bill said, adding that the issue was placed before the State Labour Advisory Board meeting on September 4, 2019, which was approved.

The Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2021 envisages providing 'suitable seating arrangements' for all employees so that they make take advantage of any opportunity to sit in the course of their work and thereby avoid 'on their toes' situation throughout the working hours.

Thousands of employees in textile and jewellery showrooms stand for long hours as they cater to customers. The lack of seating arrangements for them has been a major issue that has been highlighted every now and then.
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