Workplaces With Women On Night Shift Have To Provide Creche & Canteen: Draft Rules Under OSH Code 2020

New Delhi: To ensure a safe workplace for women employees, the new labour rules being firmed up by the Centre will mandate that establishments, including factories and construction firms, where women have given their consent to work after 7 pm, will not only have to provide them transport, but also ensure that there is a creche on the premises, ThePrint has learnt. 

Besides, such establishments will also have to ensure that the workplace is well lit, and there is adequate sanitation and canteen facility available on the premises. 

These will be part of the draft Occupational Safety, Health (OSH) and Working Conditions (Central) Rules, 2020, that the Ministry of Labour and Employment is firming up. Without notifying the rules, the law will not become operational.

Senior labour ministry officials told ThePrint the rules are likely to be put in public domain next week to invite comments and suggestions, after which they will be finalised and notified. 

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Condition Act, 2020 — one of the three labour codes passed by the Parliament in September — allows women employees to work at night, that is, beyond 7 pm and before 6 am, subject to conditions relating to safety, holiday, working hours and their consent. 

However, if respective state governments consider that the employment of women is dangerous for their health and safety, in an establishment or class of establishments because of the nature of their operations, they can prohibit the employment of women in such places. 

The Act also mandates that no employer should knowingly employ a woman in any establishment in the first six weeks following the day of her delivery, miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy.

“The Act empowers women workers by giving them the choice to decide if they want to work at night. But the rules will spell out the specific conditions that employers will have to provide for if women staffers give their consent to do night shift,” a senior labour ministry official told ThePrint on the condition of anonymity. 

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