Karnataka: Joint House panel recommends IT companies to not assign night duty to women

Karnataka's joint house committee on women and child welfare, on Monday, recommended that women working in Information Technology (IT) and Bio-Technology (BT) companies should not be assigned night shifts to keep them safe

FP Staff March 29, 2017 14:10:23 IST
Karnataka: Joint House panel recommends IT companies to not assign night duty to women

Karnataka's joint house committee on women and child welfare, on Monday, recommended that women working in Information Technology (IT) and Bio-Technology (BT) companies should not be assigned night shifts in view of their safety, reported The Indian Express. The recommendation was made in the committee's 32nd report headed by Congress MLA from Bengaluru, NA Haris.

The committee comprising 18 other members submitted the report, which is advisory in nature, in the state legislature on Monday. NA Haris, had interacted with the employees and management of Infosys and Biocon during their visit to the organisations in 2016, who had approached the committee with such a request.

Speaking about the report on Tuesday, panel chairman Haris specified that he didn't advise the Assembly to introduce a blanket ban on women employees working on night shifts but believes prevention is always better than cure, reported India Today.

He said, "We have recommended that companies must avoid having women working night shifts. A lot of women approached us and said working during the night is difficult for them and they are forced to work in the night."

Karnataka Joint House panel recommends IT companies to not assign night duty to women

Representational image. Reuters

He added, "Companies that employ men can assign them for night shifts and employ women only on the day shift. Precaution is better than cure. We are just recommending it and it is up to the government to decide."

Some women legislators on the committee were of the view that the onus of women employees’ safety must lie with the companies, and not with the women themselves.

"I do not know what the recommendations are specifically. Personally, I am of the view that the onus is on companies to provide all the protection to enable women to work at night and then leave it to the women to decide what they want to do. Women should have the freedom to decide," said a nominated Congress MLA Vinisha Nero, who was on the panel.

According to a report by The Times of India, the recommendation run contrary to Karnataka government's historic decision last year when the government had removed restrictions on allowing women to work in night shifts in all sectors to provide equal opportunities for women. Till then, women were allowed to be employed in night shifts only in IT and ITES sectors.

The Haris-led committee has also recommended amendments to many existing laws to ensure that those accused in crimes such as rape and murder of women and children don't go without punishment.

"In the absence of stringent laws, many accused are able to go scot-free or get less quantum of punishment," the report said.

Other recommendations made by the committee are: special bus service for women working in factories, setting up of toll-free helpline number on the lines of police and ambulance for women, children and senior citizens and Pink Police and Pink police app launched in Bengaluru should be extended to the state.

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