- Do you know how many leaves can you take when working in India?
- Do you know that every state in India has its own dedicated Act/Law for maintaining employee records?
- Is there any Paid Vacation or an Annual Leave provision under State Laws?
- There is a separate Record Maintenance Register for all workers in Shops and Commercial Establishments
- Do you know that a worker is eligible for Paid Leaves, Sick Leaves, Weekly Rest Leaves, Paid annual holidays, etc.?
Let us find out the leave rules that an employee must cater to and see how an employer in West Bengal needs to maintain a register of it using Form - J
Introduction to Form J
Form J - Leave registration specifies annual privileged leave, sick leave, informal leave, maternity leave, etc., applicable for all the employees - children, adults, and women. All shopkeepers and employers are required to retain Form J leave registration, and leave requests, whether permitted or denied, and place them in the appropriate section of the record immediately after the application is decided.
This helps employers assess each employee's absence and helps employees understand their leave rights, the number of leaves they are entitled to, and the relevance of leave approvals.
In this way, the shops and establishments can manage unjustified absenteeism and maintain a coordinated effort to protect workers' rights in an emergency.
The Shop or establishment is required to maintain proper records of:
- Application for privilege leave, Casual Leave, and Sick leave
- Leave pass
- Refusal of leave
- Extension of leave
- Unauthorised absence
- Maternity Leave
The employer shall give leave as follows with wages:
- PL – after 12 months of continuous service – 14 days – accumulation up to 24 days
- SL – 14 days – accumulation up to 56 days
- CL – 12 days
This is in accordance with - West Bengal Shops and Establishments Rules, 1964 Enforced w.e.f. 15th August 1964. Published vide Notification No. 2911-1R/IR-IR-1(B) 64, dated 13th July 1964.
In exercising the authority conferred by Section 25 of the West Bengal Shops & Establishments Act, 1963 (West Bengal Act 13 of 1963), the Governor shall pre-publish under subsection (9) of the section regarding West Bengal Shops & Establishments Rules, 1964.
For reference, here's a sample of the Form J - Register of Leave
Table of Contents
- About the West Bengal Shops and Establishments Law
- West Bengal Register Form J Register of Leave
- Privilege leave according to Register Form J
- Sick leave according to Register Form J
- Casual leave according to Register Form J
- Application of Leaves according to Register Form J
- Leave pass according to Register Form J
- Refusal of leave according to Register Form J
- Extension of leave according to Register Form J
- Unauthorised absence according to Register Form J
- Maternity leave according to Register Form J
In this context, "Register Form" means the form attached to these rules, and the “Government” means the Government of West Bengal.
The “Register of shops and establishments”, is maintained by the registrar keeping district-wise details of the stores and facilities on Register Form A. The register of stores and facilities stored in this way consists of the following four parts:
- Part I-Shops
- Part II-Commercial Facility
- Part III-Hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes
- Part IV-Theatres, cinemas, and other public entertainment venues
Registration application - If a business or facility is not yet a business or facility can apply for registration within 30 days from the date of the store or facility under sub-section (1) of section 16 and then start operation
After confirming the accuracy of the information contained in the application, the store or facility will become an appropriate part of the register of the store and facility under Rule 3 and will get a registration certificate in Part II of Register Form B.
West Bengal Register Form J of Leave
Leave Application Status of employees working under the Shops and Establishments Act is enacted in all states of India. The law aims to regulate wage payments, working hours, breaks, opening and closing hours, holidays, overtime, annual leave, sick leave, extra leave, employment conditions, and more.
The Concept of Leaves taken by Employees:
Employees are entitled to a certain number of leaves per year, besides holidays and off days. Generally, there are four types of leaves listed in the Shops and Establishments Act:
- Privilege leave
- Sick leave
- Casual leave
- Maternity leave
This varies from state to state
The number of leave days given to an employee depends on the state in which the company is located. The company holiday policy must comply with the leave provisions of the relevant state Shops and Establishments Act. The above vacation policy should not be more favourable than what is stipulated in the business laws and systems of each state. In general, the legal framework is similar throughout.
However, the legal leave policy varies from state to state.
Earned Leave/Privilege leave - the Register Form J
These are additional leaves granted to employees paying for the work of the day for the number of days specified under the Shops and Establishments Act. The conditions for taking privileged leave may vary from place to place. The total number of days of acquisition and privileged leave that can be carried over to the next year is stipulated in the Shops and Establishments Act. Employees are entitled to reimbursement of privileged leaves taken by the laws and regulations governing the businesses and institutions of the relevant states.
Casual Leave - Register Form J
Leaves are given in the event of contingencies, or if an employee is unable to visit the office for a day or two for personal reasons. The amount varies from state to state according to the Shops and Establishments Act. Companies usually limit short vacations to short periods. However, if an employee wants to take a short vacation/leave for a long period, he or she needs prior approval or a plausible reason for re-entry. Short casual leaves are usually not combined with other leaves but can be availed with other leaves if the leave qualifications and balance are inadequate. In general, casual leave cannot be redeemed or carried forward.
Sick leave - Register Form J
In case of illness, the employee is entitled to a sickness allowance. If a worker is unemployed due to illness during sick leave, wages will be paid to the worker. The number of days of sick leave is determined by the company by the provisions of the company and the respective state laws relating to the company. Sick leave accumulated during the year may be carried over to a particular state and billed the following year.
Application for privilege leave according to the Register Form J
A person employed at a store, shop, establishment, facility may wish to take a privilege leave permitted by law. He shall make a written request to that effect at least 10 days before the intended start date of the leave dates – as requested to the store owner or employer.
Taking leave, the shopkeeper or employer must order and approve the request within one week of submission. However, the shopkeeper or employer may, if convinced that the leave is urgent, waive the normally required 10-day advance notice, and place an order for approval accordingly.
Casual leave - Register Form J
In general, casual leave is not permitted for more than three days at a time, except in the case of illness, and in some cases, written in advance as a previous approval by the shopkeeper or employer before such leave. If such prior approval is not obtained, the shopkeeper or employer will be notified in writing as soon as possible of the absenteeism and the expected duration and reason for this absenteeism.
Sick leave or its extension shall not be denied, for good reason, if a written request is made by or on behalf of the employee at the time of preparation of the certificate from a qualified practitioner. If the shopkeeper or employer involved may, at his discretion and his own expense, request inspection by another practitioner appointed by him and the employee refuses or proves the suitability of such services, the relevant shopkeeper or the relevant employer can refuse to grant or extend the sick leave, as appropriate.
If any leave besides the casual leave requested by the employee is granted, the applicant will be issued a leave pass stating the type and length of the leave granted. Workers applying for leave under Section 1 must notify the shopkeeper or associated employer of their address during the vacation. In some cases, the shopkeeper or employer will be notified if the address changes within 3 days via notification of such changes.
Refusal of leave - Register Form J
Due and requested leaves shall not normally be denied, and no part of the priority leave taken by a person employed at a store or facility may be lapsed or refused to grant such leaves. However, if the store owner or employer can regulate the granting of preferential leave according to the business facilitation of the store or business establishment, this leave must be granted:
(A) If the employee in question intends to take a leave and does not want to accumulate it within the first 12 months
(B) Within the first 18 months, 12 months after the vacation was taken, in all other cases
If all or part of the requested leave is rejected or postponed, the fact of the refusal or postponement and the reason for it are entered into the register as per register Form J for the shopkeeper or employer to keep on a registration form, as requested by the employee. Stakeholders must provide the employer with an authenticated copy of this entry in the register.
Extension of leave
After the start of the leave, if the worker wants to extend it, he will request in writing from the relevant shopkeeper or employer, and the shopkeeper or vacation extension shall be providing a written response in refusal or sanction of the request for the extension at the address the employee provided under Rule 17 before returning home. It shall be requested from the applicant on leave.
Unauthorised absence - Register Form J
1) If the employee is absent without leave, or beyond the originally granted or later extended leave, he will explain in writing the reason for the absence within 15 days from the date of issue of the notice is needed
2) (i) After receiving the notice outlined in subrule (1) if the absentee explains to the shopkeeper or employer the reason for the absence, and if the explanation is then satisfactory as the employer regulates unauthorised absenteeism by giving them entitled leave and treats the remaining absentee time as unpaid absenteeism if any
(ii) If the shopkeeper or employer does not consider the employee's declaration to be satisfactory, he may treat the employee's unauthorised absence period as a wage-free absence, even if the leave is paid for. Or, depending on the seriousness of the case, he may exercise his right to dismiss him or terminate his services at the time of his appointment
(iii) If the employee does not submit an explanation to the shopkeeper or employer within the time limit outlined in the notice outlined in paragraph 1, the latter may terminate the employee's lien at the time of the employee's appointment
(3) The notice mentioned in sub-rule (1) will be sent by registered mail to the address given in Rule 17, or if that is not possible, to the address last provided by the worker to the shopkeeper or employer
All shopkeepers and employers are required to retain register Form J leave registration and leave requests, whether permitted or denied, will be placed in the appropriate section of the record immediately after the application is decided.
Maternity leave according to the Register Form J
Prohibition of employment of pregnant women during a specific period
(1) The shopkeeper or employer may not intentionally hire a female, and no woman employed in any store or facility may work there for six weeks from the date of childbirth or miscarriage
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 24, the relevant shopkeeper or employer may have an inherently difficult or long-term standing position for pregnant women during the period described in Sub-Rule (3). Women should not be asked to perform work that requires or in some way affect pregnancy, may affect the normal development of the fetus, may cause miscarriage, or otherwise affect their health
(3) The period mentioned in subrule (2) is-
The period of one month immediately preceding six weeks before her expected date of delivery
The above 6-week period during which the pregnant woman does not take leave of absence under rule 24
Register Form J, according to sub-rule (2) of Rule 18 and Rule 21, is a register of leave that should be duly filled by the shopkeeper as specified under the West Bengal Shops and Establishments Rules, 1964. This comprises details of the shop/establishment, along with its registration number, date of appointment, and details of privilege leave, casual leave, sick leave, and maternity leave. A separate page is maintained for each employee for each kind of leave taken by him/her.
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- Register Form J should be maintained and prepared for all shops as specified under the West Bengal Shops and Establishments Rules, 1964
- This 'register form J' is to note and record all kinds of leaves taken by the employees - Privilege Leaves, Casual Leave, Sick Leave, and Maternity Leave
- To sanction or disapprove of leave is entire as per the protocol set by the West Bengal Shops and Establishments Rules, 1964
- It includes the number of leaves taken, its approval, and if it will be an approved leave with or without pay, which will be maintained separately for each employee