The Central Government has notified an amendment to the Special Economic Zones Rules, 2006 on December 8, 2022 (“Amended Rules”). As per the Amended Rules, the Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) establishments/units operating from the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) can extend work from home or from anywhere outside the SEZ to their employees. Further, the units operating from the SEZ can allow their employees, who are temporarily incapacitated, travelling and working offsite, to work from any place outside the SEZ.
An intimation of extension of the facility for work from home or from any place outside the SEZ shall be given to the Development Commissioner through an email on or before the date on which the employer extends such facility. The employer shall maintain a list of employees who are allowed to work from home or from any place outside the SEZ, and the list may be required to be submitted for verification by the Development Commissioner.
The unit may also provide its employees duty-free goods, including laptops, desktops, and other electronic equipment, needed by the employees to work from home or from any place outside the SEZ; and the same shall be allowed to be taken outside the SEZ without payment of duty or integrated goods and services tax on a temporary basis.
The permission to work from home or from any place outside the SEZ shall be applicable up to December 31, 2023.
It is to be noted that for the purpose of the Amended Rules, the term “employees” includes contract labor, who are expected to report on a day-to-day basis for work at the unit and the unit administers the control of their attendance.