The Department of Labour and Employment, Himachal Pradesh has recently issued a notification permitting factories to employ women workers in three shiftsprovided certain conditions are fulfilled.
This in effect means that factories in Himachal Pradesh are exempted from the applicability of Section 66 (1) (b) of the Factories Act, 1948 (“Act”).
Section 66(1)(b) of the Act lays down restrictions on employing women before 6 am and after 7 pm.
The conditions which need to be followed by the unit employing women in three shifts are as follows:
(i) The unit should be registered under the Factories Act, 1948.
(ii) Prior consent needs to be obtained from women workers who will be engaged in the night shift which should be submitted to the Labour Officer of the concerned area.
(iii) Management will have to take measure to prevent sexual harassment of woman workers at the workplace.
(iv) No woman worker should be engaged alone to work in night shift and lady supervisor should also be deployed in each shift and each floor.
(v) Transport facilities should be provided for plying woman workers to and from office to work and back.
(vi) Lady escort should be provided in the vehicle with women workers during their transportation from the workplace to their residences and back.
(vii) Arrangement of meals should be made within the factory premises during night shifts.
(viii) Do not employ women worker/s in any hazardous process during night shifts.
(ix) Working hours will be regulated in accordance with the Factories Act, 1948.
(x) Welfare facilities must be provided by the management.
(xi) Provision regarding prohibition of employment of women worker near cotton openers shall be followed by the management.
(xii) Management will have to furnish necessary details regarding number of women workers engaged in different shifts to the Labour Officer of their area.
(xiii) Management to comply with provisions relating to health and safety.
(xiv) Management to ensure health check-up of women workers before engaging them in night shift and subsequently on quarterly basis.
If the unit deviates from the above conditions at any stage, then such unit will not be allowed to engage women workers in night shift/s.
Thanks & Regards,