Kochhar & Co. (India) Article: Legal Update — Conditions for Employing Women Workers During Night Shifts in Factories Located in Haryana

The Government of Haryana, vide notification no. 11/6/2022-4lab dated March 14, 2024, has issued conditions for factories seeking exemption to employ women during night shifts, specifically between 07:00 PM to 06:00 AM, with a focus on prioritizing safety and security of women workers while increasing their participation in the workforce. This exemption will remain valid for 1 (one) year from the date of notification issuance. The conditions include:

  1. Compliance with the following provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 or any other instructions issued by the Government:
  • constitution of Internal Complaints Committee (“IC”) at each administrative units or offices or workplaces separately;
  • preparation/revision of a written statement of general policy showing commitment to the prohibition of sexual harassment of the women worker at workplace;
  • displaying order regarding the constitution of IC and policy on prohibition of sexual harassment shall be displayed at conspicuous places at the workplace;
  • conducting workshops and awareness programs at regular intervals to sensitize workers about sexual harassment provisions and consequences of engaging in such act;
  • submission of annual reports prescribed under Section 22 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, to the Labour Commissioner, Haryana, and Assistant Director, Industrial Safety & Health, by January 31st of each year; and
  • reporting of untoward incidents to the Assistant Director, Industrial Safety & Health, and the local police station.

2. Installation of proper lighting and CCTV cameras inside and around the factory, where women workers move during course of their work.

  • Employment of women workers in batches of not less than 10 (ten).
  • Provision of transportation facilities for women workers to and from their residences. Each vehicle must have security guards, including female guards, along with well-trained drivers and proper communication systems. Additionally, installing CCTV cameras, GPS, and other safety measures in each vehicle is essential to ensure the safety and security of women workers. In drivers are employed through third party manpower services, management must ensure that the service provider possesses the driver’s biodata and has conducted his pre-employment background and screening checks.
  • Provision of sufficient women security guards at the entry and exit points of the factory.
  • Assignment of women supervisors or shift-in-charges for night shifts.
  • Obtaining declaration/consent from each woman worker, including security guards, supervisors, shift-in-charge, or any other women staff, to work during night shifts.
  • Provision of medical facilities by engaging a doctor/female nurse during night shifts. If more than a 100 (one hundred) women workers are employed in the shift, a separate vehicle must be kept ready to meet any emergent situation such as hospitalization, injury, or incidental acts of harassment.
  • Displaying of telephone numbers for the police, hospital, members of the IC, etc., at conspicuous places of the factory.
  • Organization of monthly meetings for women workers from all shifts through their representatives with the occupier as grievance day, with the occupier striving to address all just and reasonable grievances.
  • The compliances under the Factories Act, 1948, including working hours, overtime, holidays, interval of rest, facility of rest room for women workers etc., and other legislations, must be complied with by the occupier of the factory.

Conclusion: By addressing pertinent concerns regarding women’s rights and workplace safety, this notification strives to create a conducive environment for their employment and empowerment in Haryana’s manufacturing sector.