Haryana allows women to work the night shift in factories

The Haryana government today said factories registered under the Factories Act, 1948, can apply for the exemption from employing women in the night shift from 7 pm to 6 am.

Published: 21st August 2017 08:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2017 09:42 PM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: The Haryana Government has decided to allow factories in the state to apply for exemption from employing women in the 7 pm to 6 am shift but  directed employers to strictly follow guidelines to ensure their safety and security before applying for such exemption.

It would be valid for one year from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette. However, the employer should follow provisions of the Factories Act, rules of other statutory provisions with respect to the hours of work, Payment of Equal Remuneration Act, and all other labour legislations.

Speaking about the conditions required to grant an exemption, an official said it should be the duty of the employer or other responsible persons at the work place or institution to prevent or deter sexual harassment.

To prevent it at work, the factory management should frame regulations relating to conduct and discipline prohibiting sexual harassment and provide appropriate penalties against the offenders, and also introduce amendments, wherever necessary, which exist in the Standing Orders, he added.

In case of any criminal case, the employer should initiate appropriate action in accordance with the penal law without delay, and also ensure that victims or witnesses are not discriminated against while dealing with complaints pertaining to the same, he said.

The employer should maintain a complaint redressal mechanism in the factory which should ensure time-bound treatment of complaints. Such a mechanism should provide, when necessary, a complaint committee, a special counsellor or
other support services, including the maintenance of confidentiality, the officer added.

This committee should preferably be headed by a woman and not less than half of its members should be women besides a non-governmental organisation's representation in the committee. Such a person should also be familiar with the issue of sexual harassment, the officer said.

The employer should provide proper lighting inside the factory and also in the surroundings and all places where women employees might move out of necessity during the shift. The employer should see that they are employed in a batch not less than ten, and the total number of women employed in a night shift should not be less than 2/3rd of the total strength.

Sufficient women’s security should be provided at the entry as well as exit point, and sufficient number of work sheds should be provided for female workers to arrive in advance, and also leave after working hours, he added.

A separate canteen should be provided to them. The employer should also provide transportation to women employees on the night shift from their residence to work and back, along with security guards (including women guards). Each transportation vehicle should also be equipped with CCTV cameras, he said.

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