TN Minister for Labour Welfare and Skill Development, V Ganesan, said that employees working in shops are made to stand throughout their working hours, resulting in various health issues.

A worker in a garment store dressing up a mannequin Image for representation- File photo/PTI
news Workers' Rights Monday, September 06, 2021 - 17:33

In what could be a relief for scores of labourers, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday, September 6, tabled a Bill in the legislative assembly to amend the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act 1947, and add a section that would make it mandatory for the shops to provide seating for all the employees. “The premises of every establishment shall have suitable seating arrangements for all employees so that they may take advantage of any opportunity to sit which may occur in the course of their work and thereby avoid ‘on their toes’ situation throughout the working hours,” reads the proposed section, 22-A. 

Minister for Labour Welfare and Skill Development, V Ganesan, said that employees working in shops and establishments are made to stand throughout their working hours, resulting in various health issues. “Considering the plight of the employees who are on their toes throughout their duty time, it is felt necessary to provide seating facilities to all the employees of shops and establishments,” the minister stated. He added that the subject of seating facility was placed before the State Labour Advisory Board meeting held on Saturday, September 4, and it was unanimously approved by the Board members. 

In 2018, Kerala had first brought these changes after women workers at textile retail shops went on a long strike, demanding better working conditions. The women complained that the establishments lacked any seating facility due to which they could not sit. They also complained that their workplace did not have toilets.

Following this, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 2016, issued a notice to the government of Kerala over the pathetic working conditions of women employees. Two years later, the Kerala government amended the Kerala Shops and Establishments Act, 1960, which curtailed harassment of working women. The Act also made it mandatory for the establishment owners and employers to take care of the security of their women employees by ensuring a drop-off service at night. The Act further states that women will be allowed to work in the night-shift only if there are at least five people in the shop/establishment, out of whom two have to be women.

Topic tags,
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.