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Amid a debate in the private sector regarding the efficacy of Work From Home (WFH), the government on Thursday permitted complete WFH options to the employees of IT units in special economic zones (SEZ) till December 2023.

For this, the government has amended Special Economic Zones (SEZ) rules and permitted IT/ITeS units in SEZ to allow 100% Work From Home (WFH) till 31 December 2023 subject to certain conditions.

"A unit may permit its employees...to work from home or from any place outside the SEZ," the commerce ministry said in a notification.

The conditions of the notification lay down that the SEZ unit owners have to intimate the ruling to the Development Commissioner of the respective zones and have to continue to operate from the premises after their approval.

For the units planning WFH in the future can send the intimation through e-mail once the WFH commences. The notification further added that the employees under the decision include the workforce who are temporarily incapacitated, those who are traveling, and those working offsite.

The SEZ units may not submit the list of the employees pursuing WFH or working from outside the zone, but have to maintain a such list under the unit, the notification added.

The unit will account for the export revenue of the resultant product and services and the employee must be tagged to the account. The notification further talks about the provision of laptops, desktops, and other devices to ensure smooth WFH.

The notification increases the duration of WFH which was earlier allowed for a maximum of one year in the Special Economic Zone unit and could be extended up to 50% of the total employees.

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