Bengaluru: Karnataka is amending the law to allow women to work in night shifts in shops and commercial establishments across the state, an official said on Tuesday.
“The state cabinet on Monday decided to introduce an amendment to the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Act through a bill in the ensuing state legislature,” the official told IANS here.
The law, however, permits the burgeoning IT industry to employ women in the night shift across the state as section 25 of the Act was amended in 2002 to exempt IT and IT-enabled firms as they operate 24×7 for global clients.
“As the provision (section 25) to allow women work in night shift was not applicable to non-IT companies, women could not be employed by companies in other sectors, including manufacturing, shops and commercial firms,” said the official of the state law department.
As in the case of the IT industry, companies employing women in the night shift will have to ensure their safety and security, including transportation to their homes, with the company vehicles having GPS (global positioning system) for tracking and monitoring them by the police.
“The amendment bill will empower other companies in shops and commercial places in the hospitality and entertainment sectors among others to employ women in the night shift with mandatory safety measures,” the official noted.
The state’s Labour Department will give permission to companies in the manufacturing sector employing women for night shift on rotation with safety measures, including free creches for their children, resting facility, security guards and background checks of drivers hired to ferry them from home and back.
The Department in November notified that factories can allow women to work on night shift from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. with adequate safety measures.
“The bill will be placed in the first legislature session of 2020 from Feburary 17-21 and passed in its budge session from March 2. The state budget for fiscal 2020-21 will be presented on March 5,” added the official.