Kerala to provide secure workplace for women

Kerala to provide secure workplace for women
Highlights

In a big relief to women working in shops, hotels and commercial establishments, the Kerala government on Wednesday decided to amend a relevant act, aimed at ensuring a more secure environment to them and to prevent their sexual exploitation.

To amend Shops & Commercial Establishments Act 1960

Thiruvananthapuram: In a big relief to women working in shops, hotels and commercial establishments, the Kerala government on Wednesday decided to amend a relevant act, aimed at ensuring a more secure environment to them and to prevent their sexual exploitation.

The decision to amend the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1960 was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The meeting also decided to accord sanction to the draft bill for the purpose, a government release said.

Various establishments, including shops, hotels and restaurants, will come under the purview of the amended act. The bill will have necessary rules to ensure protection for women working between 9 PM and 6 AM. Certain restrictions will be imposed on putting women on night shift.

In a group of five members, there should be at least two women to be put on a night shift and the employer will have to keep in mind the dignity, pride and security of women staff. The women should also should be provided transport for being dropped at their residences, the release said.

As per the present laws, women should not be employed for jobs between 7 PM and 6 AM. The bill, while includes provisions for their safety,also incorporates women friendly initiatives, including providing seating arrangements for saleswomen inworking hours.

This has been a long-pending demand from women, especially from those employed in textile showrooms, as they were not allowed to sit for nearly 8 to 9 hours during duty time. They had also staged protests, demanding the right to sit while on duty.

The amendments come in the wake of complaints received from employees, organisations and social activists on the problems being faced by women in shops and establishments.

The cabinet also decided to bring under the purview of the law, temporary security workers, who are appointed though security agencies. For this, the definition of labourers would be enlarged, the release added.

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