Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday decided to amend the Kerala Shops and Establishments Act, to prevent sexual exploitation and provide a more secure environment, especially for women working at shops, hotels and restaurants.
In an official communication, the government said the amended Act would also include a clause to ensure the right of women to sit down during work, a long standing demand of women workers.
The government said it had received several complaints from workers and their trade unions that women were not allowed to sit at shops and other establishments during work. Last year, women workers associated with several leading textile shops in Kerala had staged an agitation demanding their right to sit during the long duty hours.
As per the amendment, if women are put on night shift, between 9 pm and 6 am, then there should be at least a group of five, two of them women. Employers would also have to provide women transport for being dropped at their residences.
As per the laws, women should not be employed for jobs between 7 pm and 6 am. However, the proposed amendments seeks to expunge the section banning employment of women at night.