The Labour and Employment Department, Tamil Nadu (“Department”) has issued amendments to the Tamil Nadu Factories Rules, 1950 on 26th April, 2017. By virtue of the amendment, guidelines have been prescribed for employing women during night shifts in factories.
The amendment has inserted a new provision, Rule 84 in the Tamil Nadu Factories Rules, 1950 with immediate effect.
Key highlights of the amendment are:
1.The occupier of a factory is now required to take steps to prevent the commission of the acts of sexual harassment in the factory;
- The occupier of a factory must constitute a complaint committee to maintain a complaint mechanism in the factory itself and to dispose of the complaints in time bound manner with strict confidentiality. The complaint committee must be headed by a woman familiar with the issues of sexual harassment and not less than half of its members should be women besides a non-governmental organisation’s representation;
- The women workers will be allowed to raise the issue of sexual harassment in the workers’ meeting;
- The occupier of a factory has to assist the women workers affected by sexual harassment;
- The occupier of a factory must provide proper lighting in and around the factory;
- The occupier of a factory must ensure that women workers employed in night shift are not less than ten and not less than two third of the total strength of workers and one third of the Supervisors / Shift Incharge / Foremen should be women; as well;
- The occupier of a factory should provide sufficient women security at the entry and exit points and sufficient work sheds for the women workers be employed in night shift;
- The occupier of a factory has to provide separate dining facility and separate safe transportation from the factory premises to the nearest point of their residence to the women workers in night shift;
- The occupier of a factory should provide necessary medical facilities and also make these facilities available at any time of urgency in case of injury or incidental acts of harassment, by providing necessary telephone connections;
- The occupier of a factory should ensure that wherever the factory provides boarding and lodging for women workers, the same shall be kept exclusively for women and it should be under the control of women wardens or supervisors;
- The occupier of a factory should ensure that there shall not be less than twelve consecutive hours of rest between the last shift and the night shift whenever a woman worker is changed from day shift to night shift and from night shift to day shift;
- The occupier of a factory should appoint not less than two women workers per night shift who shall go round and work as Special Welfare Assistants;
- Whenever there is any untoward incident, the occupier of a factory should send a report to the Inspector and Police Station concerned as well;
- The occupier of a factory must exhibit these guidelines in a prominent place so that the women workers can be aware of their rights;
- Adequate toilet with water facility, should be provided to the women workers, conveniently situated and easily accessible containing all basic amenities and safety measures to the workers;
- Creche facility wherever needed, should be provided to the women workers for the care of their children with care taker with all essential amenities.
Source: Tamil Nadu Gazette