the karnataka assembly passes a bill allowing women to work night shifts in factories
Karnataka Legislative Assembly passed a bill on Wednesday amending the Factories Act, allowing women to work night shifts at factories. It also allows employees to work 12 hours a day for four consecutive days to take three days off.
The Assembly had no debate about the Factories (Karnataka Amendment) Bill. “There were restrictions on work hours for women, and there was pressure on the government, including from the software industry, to relax this,” Law & Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy said.
The government of 2020 allowed women to work in night shifts at hotels, restaurants, cafes, theatres, and other establishments under Article 14 of the Constitution.
Additionally, it allows the government to increase daily work hours to 12 from 9, but not exceeding 48 hours a week. This will lead to more economic activities and employment opportunities.
“We are increasing the working hours to 12 hours a day. Those who work 12 hours consecutively for four days, not exceeding 48 hours, can take three days off,” the Minister said.
The Bill allows women to work between 7 pm and 6 am, but employers must take certain safety measures to ensure their employees’ safety.
An employer or other responsible person at the workplace is responsible for preventing or deterring acts of sexual harassment.
In addition, employers are required to provide women workers with transportation during night shifts, and transport vehicles must be equipped with CCTV and GPS systems.
As part of the Bill, which will now be considered by the Legislative Council for passage, employers must ensure that women are provided with appropriate working conditions, and no employee should be disadvantaged as a result of her employment.
The bill mentions a number of measures, including the employment of women in a batch of at least 10, the installation of proper lighting, and the storage of CCTV footage for not less than 45 days.
Additionally, the Bill allows the government to set overtime work hours during which employees must receive twice the ordinary wage rate.