AMCHAM’s Karnataka Chapter organized a webinar in partnership with KPMG on the new SEZ rules regarding permission for work from home on August 23rd in Bengaluru. During the pandemic companies realized that work from home (WFH) was a good option that reduces costs of logistics and infrastructure. As it gives them more flexibility, SEZ units intend to allow employees the facility of working from home. However, in the recent past, companies have faced challenges about continuity of employees if they are not allowed to work from home or anywhere. SEZ developers who made large investments in creating best in class infrastructure, were also concerned that if the units are not used, it could result in financial problems. The surrounding areas of SEZ have not developed as expected, due to the slowdown in the activity of employees coming to office, and has become a matter of concern for the government / local bodies. In this backdrop, the central government has recently issued guidance for SEZ IT/ITeS units operating under WFH model, to ensure that only 50% of the employees can work from home and the others will have to necessarily work from office.
The session covered the legal requirements of work from home, key highlights of the new Rule 43A of SEZ Act, interplay of WFH rules with indirect taxes, corporate tax and other regulations, impact on all the areas of business and feasibility of each option and deliberation on the way forward. Some of the key takeaways focused on how to align India office options vis-à-vis the policy of your company regarding WFH, process of identifying the set of employees who will need to necessarily work from office, administrative requirements to ensure workplaces are adequately equipped to accommodate employees back in office, redefined processes w.r.t HR, IT, admin and other regulatory policies relevant to business and employee needs.
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