In order to ensure the safety of women employees, Honourable High Court of Kerala held that, women employees cannot be asked to work beyond 10 PM. While considering the petition filed by a woman employee of Seetharam Textiles, Kerala High Court observed that, now a days, crime rate against woman are increasing, and therefore it is essential to have sufficient precautionary measures to safeguard working woman.
In the present, case between CL Cicily v. Seetharam Textiles Ltd., the petitioner alleged that, compelling a women employee to work during night shifts are violating Section 66(1) (b) of the Factories Act, 1948. By virtue of Section 66(1) (b) of the Factories Act, 1948;
No woman shall be required or allowed to work in any factory except between the hours of 6 A.M. and 7 P.M.: Provided that the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, in respect of any factory or group or class or description of factories, vary the limits laid down in clause (b), but so that no such variation shall authorize the employment of any woman between the hours of 10 P.M. and 5 A.M.
Kerala High Court, while allowing the writ petition, directed the employer to strictly adhere with the provisions of Section 66(1)(b) of the Factories Act, 1948. Court further stated that, women employees can be employed only up to 10:00 PM, subject to the compliance of terms and conditions issued by the State Government of Kerala vide its Circular dated 07.06.2003. Said circular read as follows;
That, women can be employed till 10 P.M. provided that the employer must provide free transport facilities to the women; ensure the presence of minimum of five workers including two women in a shift; and that the spread over time to a worker in a day shall not exceed 9 hours including rest period.
Read full judgement of CL Cicily v. Seetharam Textiles Ltd.