President Pranab Mukherjee on 1 December 2015 gave assent to Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2015 of Maharashtra. Among other things, the bill amends Section 66(1)(c) of the Factories Act, 1948 that restricts women from working at a factory between 7 PM and 6 AM.
The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was passed by the Maharashtra legislature in July 2015. Later, it was reserved for consideration of the President by the State Governor C Vidyasagar Rao under article 200 of the Constitution.
The other proposed changes to the Factories Act, 1948 include
• Workers to be eligible for paid leave after working for 90 days in a year instead of the existing 240 days or more.
• It would not be mandatory for workers to take the management's permission for overtime, the limit for which in three months will be increased to 115 hours from the current 75.
• It will prevent inspectors from filing cases on petty matters against factories and consequently, will help in curbing corruption and harassment from factory inspectors.
• If a factory inspector has to file a case, he has to take prior permission from the chief factory inspector.
• It will allow establishments with up to even 20 employees under the purview of the Factories Act, thereby, allowing employment of women in the night shifts.
The decision of the state government to change the 67-year-old existing law will bring a much needed help for workers working in more than 14000 factories across the state.
And, with this decision, Maharashtra joined the league of selected states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh that allow women to work in night shifts or are in the process of doing so.
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When: 1 December 2015
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