Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, 1949:
Section 14(4) the State Election Commission is empower to pass such orders as it deems fit, for ensuring free and fair election.
Constitution of India:
Article 243(ZA) superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to the Municipalities shall be vested in State Election Commission referred to in Article 243-K and the State Govt. will have the power to make provision with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, elections to the Municipalities
Govt. Resolution by the State Govt. of Maharashtra dated 02/02/2017
This GR has directed private establishments, including shops, malls, multiplexes, information and technology firms, hotels to announce a paid leave for their employees on the date of election.
The order further clarifies that, if absence of any employee is likely to lead to any danger/heavy losses, or in case of continuous operation then a window of two hours to vote may be given to those employees.
Q1. Whether it is compulsory to give fully paid leave to workers on the day of election?
As per the GR dt. 02/02/2017 a two hour window may be given if the process is continuous or absence of employees is likely to lead to danger/heavy losses.
Q2. Do I have to close down the factory or establishment/shop on the day of the election?
It is not necessary that the factory or the establishment/shop should be closed on the day of the election. The work can be continued with those employees who are not registered as voters in the Constituency where the elections are taking place, therefore the factory or establishment/shop can run with those employees who are registered as voters with different Constituencies.
Q3. Do I have to give paid holiday to all my employees on the day of election?
All the employees of the establishment or factory or shop who are registered as voters in the Constituency where the establishment/factory is situated shall be granted a paid holiday. Other can continue to work
Q4. Do I have to give a paid holiday to employees who are registered as voters in Constituency in which election is to be held on a different day?
The employees who are registered as voters in a Constituency in which election is to be held on a different day, such employees may not be given a paid holiday on the day of the election of the Constituency where the factory is located, but they shall be given paid holiday on the day the elections are scheduled in the Constituency where they have been registered as voters.
Q5. I have employees who are from different States and the date of election in their respective State is different from the date of which election is scheduled for the Constituency where factory is situated, when should I give them holiday?
They should be granted holiday on the day on which election is going to be held in Constituency in which they have been registered as voters.
Q6. Can I give 2 hours off to my employees on the day of election?
Only if your manufacturing process is continuous or absence of those employees is likely result in grave danger/huge losses.
Q7. If our process is continuous and cannot be stopped for a day then, what should I do for the day of election?
In industries where there are continuous process employees who are very essential for the process can work by giving them 2 hours window so that they can exercise their right to vote.
Q8. What happens if the day of election falls on the day of weekly off then do I have to give additional day off in future to the employees or not?
If, the election falls on day of weekly off then, there is no requirement to give additional off in future to employees in lieu of this weekly off.
NOTE: In case of industrial establishments carrying on hazardous processes, and closure of such an establishment is likely to lead to accidents, hazards or some other danger, then the exception as mentioned in the GR can operate. A ‘hazardous process’ as per the Factories Act means any activity or process in relation to an industry specified in the First Schedule to the Factories Act where, unless special care is taken, any raw materials used, intermediate or finished products, bye-products, wastes or effluents would cause material impairment to the health of persons engaged in or connected therewith, or result in pollution to the general environment.
The GR does not prohibit an establishment to remain open on a polling day. Since voting is a right, it is up to the elector to exercise it. The employer is only required to grant a paid holiday to an employee who is eligible for voting. In the event that an employee does not wish to vote, or wishes to attend to his duties inspite of his option to seek a holiday, it may be said that the employer will not be in contravention of GR, if he allows the employee to work on that day. However, there does not appear to be any Court decision on this matter.