Haryana Labour Department allows employment of women workers in night shift in factories
The Haryana Labour Department, (“Department”) issued a notification on 17th August, 2017, allowing women workers to be employed in factories during night shifts i.e. from 07.00 P.M. to 06.00 A.M.
The key highlights of the notification are:
- Factories in Haryana are required to obtain exemption from the Department to employ women workers in night shifts.
- The exemption will be valid for a period of 1 year from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
- The exemption will be subject to certain conditions. Some of the key conditions are:
- Employer / person responsible at the workplace must prevent / deter commission of sexual harassment acts and provide procedures for the resolution, statement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment by:
- Prohibiting sexual harassment in any form such as unwelcome sexually determined behavior, or advances to gain contact, or demanding sexual favours etc.
- Framing rules or regulations relating to conduct and discipline prohibiting sexual harassment and providing appropriate penalties against offenders.
- Introducing necessary amendments in the existing Standing Orders, if required.
- Employer must provide transportation facility to the women workers from their residence and back (for the night shift) and security guards (including female security guard). Further, each transportation vehicle should be equipped with CCTV cameras.2Employers must ensure that at least 10 women workers are employed in a batch. Further, the total of the women workers employed in night shift should not be less than 2/3rd of the total strength.
- Employer must provide proper lighting not only inside the factory, but also in areas surrounding the factory, and in all places where the female workers may move out of necessity in the course of su shift.
- Employers must provide sufficient women security during night shift at the entry as well as exit points
- Employers must provide appropriate working conditions in respect of work, leisure, health and hygiene to ensure that there is no hostile environment towards women at workplaces.
- Employers should initiate appropriate action in accordance with penal law in case of any criminal case.
- Employers to maintain a complaint redressal mechanism in the factory itself to ensure time-bound treatment of complaints.
- The Mechanism must provide for a Complaint Committee, preferably headed by a woman, a special counsellor or other support services including the maintenance of confidentiality.
- Employer must provide an additional paid holiday for the women workers during their menstruation period in the night shifts.
- Employer must appoint at least 2 female wardens per night shift who will work as Special Welfare Assistants.
The Department has taken this step pursuant to the judgement given by Hon’ble Madras High Court in Vasantha R. Vs. Union of India (UOI) And Ors. [Case No. W.P.4604-06 of 1999], declaring Section 66(1)(b) of the Factories Act, 1948, which prohibits employment of women workmen in night shifts in factories, as violative of the right to equality conferred under Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution.
For further details, refer to the hyperlink given below.
Source: Haryana Labour Department