Centre for Public Policy Research became the runners up for the 2020 Asia Liberty Award instituted by the Atlas Network, a global network of more than 475 think tanks, for our Project on Kerala Shops and Establishments act  to liberalize night work for women . The award was announced at Asia Liberty Forum Online 2020. The Asia Liberty award is part of the Templeton Freedom Award that annually honors think tanks that has made an exceptional contribution to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation and human fulfillment via free competition.

The Kerala Shops & Establishment Act regulates the labour and working hours of shops & commercial establishments in Kerala. The act which was in the practice for a few decades did not allow women to work in the night shifts. It also restricted the choice of entrepreneurs in matters related to the weekly holiday, 24 x 7 opening of the shops, shifts for the workers, etc.This Act essentially killed  the entrepreneurial innovations and the flexibility in their operations.

The Centre for Public Policy Research formed a team of lawyers, social entrepreneurs, economists, sociologists, and public policy researchers to work on labor reform, and their work to implement more liberal work practices was acknowledged by the Government of Kerala. The significant changes to the labor laws CPPR helped work toward include permitting women to work at night, allowing 24/7 operation of businesses, and introductions of shifts for employees and an online permit application system to open a business. CPPR believes these reforms will create better working conditions for employees, increase wealth creation by entrepreneurs, increase tax revenue, and boost Kerala’s economy—of which the services sector accounts for 70 percent.

To view the draft of the proposed amendments to the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1960, submitted Click here

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