- The union commerce ministry said that IT/ITeS units in special economic zones can allow 100 per cent of their workforce to work from home for one more year
- The units need to maintain a list of employees who are allowed to follow WFH or from any place outside the zone
The latest amendments to the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) rules have allowed the information technology/ information technology-enabled services (IT/ITeS) units to extend the work-from-home (WFH) facility to their workforce till December 31, 2023, though with certain conditions. SEZ unit owners need to intimate the WFH extension to the Development Commissioner of the respective zones and will have to continue to operate from the premises as per their letter of approval.
The central commerce ministry recently released a notification saying: “A unit may permit its employees…to work from home or from any place outside the SEZ.” Notably, units seeking WFH in future can email an intimation on or before the date of commencement of WFH. Laptops, desktops or other equipment can be provided to employees in order to facilitate them to work from home.
As per the notification, employees covered in the decision include the workforce who are temporarily incapacitated, travelling or working offsite.
It is noteworthy that prior to this notification, work from home was permitted for a maximum period of one year in a special economic zone unit and it could be extended to 50 per cent of the total employees.
Though the unit doesn’t need to submit the list of employees who are allowed to follow WFH or from any place outside the zone, it has to maintain that list within the unit. Also, the unit has to ensure that the export revenue of the resultant products or services must be accounted for by the unit to which the employee is tagged.