Female employees doing night shifts in the city may see some improvement in their working conditions with the Delhi government approving a draft policy to lay down some labour laws.
The draft Delhi Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Rules, 2023, was vetted and approved by the Labour Department on Friday and will soon be up on its website for people's suggestions.
Labour Minister Raaj Kumar Anand held a high-level meeting on Friday where he discussed the draft policy which seeks to allow women to work night shifts and stipulates rules for their safety during the shift, an official government statement said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier chaired a meeting with the Labour Department, directing it to take necessary steps towards increasing women's participation in the workforce, which led the department to draft the current proposal.
As per the draft rules, women, if they choose to, can now work from 7 in the night to 6 in the morning.
For such women, employers will have to arrange for their transport from home to work and vice versa, it said. They are also required to make proper arrangements for toilets and drinking water, it added.
For the safety of women, employers will be required to set up a contact number, mentioning it at the workplace as well as on the vehicle, for female workers to use in case of emergency.
They are also required to set up a proper grievance redressal mechanism as per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013.
The draft will be shared on the portal of the Labour Department, where the general public, institutions, and employers can submit their feedback to the government within 30 days, the statement said.
The Labour Department will then review the suggestions and objections and incorporate them into the draft before sending it to the Law Department for legal scrutiny.
The draft also speaks about employees working overtime.
According to it, working more than eight hours a day or more than 48 hours a week is considered overtime, and if an employee works overtime, he or she is liable to receive up to double the hourly rate based on minimum wages.
Employees cannot work for more than 12 hours a day or 60 hours a week and no employee can work overtime for seven consecutive days, the statement said.
The draft proposal also makes it mandatory for employers to provide some holidays to their employees every year.
During his Friday meeting, the Labour Minister said that it will now be mandatory to give joining and experience letters to the employees working in any field. Employers will also have to ensure that they keep records of all employees and provide them with salary slips.
The draft proposal says that wherever migrant workers are employed, employers will have to pay them a travelling allowance once a year. The travelling allowance should be such that it suffices to and fro cost of travel by bus or rail, it said.
In order to ensure the safety of employees working in factories dealing with hazardous chemicals and materials in Delhi, it has been mandated that they undergo medical examinations every year.
The factory operator will be responsible for ensuring that its employees undergo blood, urine, X-ray and other tests proposed by the medical inspector, according to the rules suggested in the draft.
Such factories will be subjected to regular inspections by the Labour Department to ensure compliance, with non-compliance resulting in strict action against the employer.
In case of a workplace accident, employers are required to inform the Labour Department within 12 hours of its happening.
In case of the death of an employee, the employer has to inform the Labour Department, District Magistrate, or the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, police station in-charge, as well as the concerned department of the state if the worker is a migrant, the statement said.