Safety Measures for Women

Safety measures ensured by law for night work by women - Section 2A of the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act

Safety measures ensured by law for night work by women

Section 2A of the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act states that:

  • Primarily and most importantly a woman cannot be compelled to work at night against her will.
  • The employer must obtain prior approval of the Commissioner of labour for the employment of women after 10 p.m.
  • The law also provides that no woman who has worked a shift of during the hours 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. can be employed after 10 p.m. on any day.
  • The wages for a woman who does night work must be one and a half times the normal payment received by her.
  • Women wardens must be appointed to oversee the welfare of women workers who work at night.
  • All night shift women workers must be provided restrooms and refreshments by the employer.
  • No more than 10 night work shifts that can be allocated to a woman worker during a period of one month.
  • The provisions mentioned above do not apply to women holding managerial or technical positions, women employed in health and welfare services (which are not manual in nature) and women of the same family engaged a family business.

According to the Section 67 Factories Ordinance

  • the number of hours worked not including the intervals for meals and rest and the period of employment cannot exceed nine hours in any day or forty eight hours in a week.

While all of the Occupational Health and Safety provisions contained in the Factories Ordinance apply for both men and women, Section 25 specifically states that:

  • a woman or young person shall not clean any part of a prime mover or of any transmission machinery while the prime mover or transmission machinery is in motion.
  • They also should not clean any part of any machine if it exposes them to risk of injury from any moving part either of that machine or of any adjacent machinery.

Under Section 86 of the Factories Ordinance provides

  • protection for women and young persons employed in certain processes connected with lead manufacture and in processes involving the use of lead compounds.
  • The provisions include notifying the Chief Factory Inspecting Engineer of cases of lead poisoning as a result of manufacturing processes.

The Shop and Office Employees Act, (Section 10) states that

  • person below the age of 14 years cannot be employed in any shop or office, and any person between the ages of 14 and 18 years cannot be employed in any shop or office before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
  • However, any woman above 18 years may be employed in a hotel or restaurant between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Any woman over 18 years of age may be employed in a residential hotel before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on any day.
  • Any woman over 18 years of age may be employed in a shop or office for the period or any part of the period between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • This rule is relaxed for a male who is above 16 years of age, enabling him to be employed in the business of a hotel, restaurant or place of entertainment for the period or any part of the period between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Section16 of the Act provides for

  • the provision of seats in shops in every room behind the counters, where women are serving customers the proportion of the number of seats available must be not less than one seat for every three women working in the room.
  • Any employer in either public or private industrial undertakings which employ women workers and young persons is required by law to maintain a register of their names, dates of birth as well as their hours of work and must make it available for inspection at any time.

The employer is also required under the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act to display the legal provisions in Sinhala, Tamil and English, pertaining to the protection of the rights of women and young persons, in the public spaces on the premises.

Under the Mines and Minerals Law and Mines (Prohibition of Females on Underground Work in Mines expressly prohibits:

  • the employment of women, irrespective of age, being employed in underground mines at any time.
  • The exception lies with the employment of women in managerial and supervisory positions.

 

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