The Government of Karnataka on Wednesday issued an order to scrap the law that bans employing women in night shifts in factories, subject to certain security conditions.
The order issued by the government says that women can work during night shifts (between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.) in places registered under the Factories Act, 1948. The move comes after the Madras High Court had struck down one of the provisions of the Act which had banned women from doing night shift after terming it “unconstitutional”.
“While IT/ITEs workers were exempted from this, this order gives blanket permission to employ women 24/7 in all industries. The notification, however, states that the night shift cannot be compulsory for any women worker and written consent needs to be obtained for women workers who are interested in working night shifts.”
The state government has laid down conditions for employing women in night shifts that include adequate measures to prevent and address sexual harassment, provide appropriate working conditions, equal opportunity devoid of discrimination among other rules to ensure the safety and sanctity of women employees are not compromised.
“The employers shall see that the women workers are employed in a batch of not less than ten and the total of the women workers employed in a night shift shall not be less than 2/3rd of the total strength,” according to the notification. It also directs for sufficient women security staff, restrooms, and transport facilities.
The laws to monitor the conditions of employment in the night also part of efforts to protect women from all or any kind of harassment in workplaces.