Women should not be denied employment in the name of night work: Kerala High Court

Latest News

The Kerala High Court has ruled that women should not be denied employment on the grounds of the night shift. The court said that the government and the authorities have an obligation to create a working atmosphere for women at all times.

The high court, in its order, has quashed the provision that women cannot apply for the post of safety officer in the Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) factory at Chavara in the Kollam district of Kerala as it is unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Kerala High Court judge Anu Sivaraman made this historical judgment. The court also ruled that the factory law, which was brought in to make women safer, should not become an impediment for them.

The verdict by the Kerala High Court was given on the plea filed by 25-year-old Tresa Josephine, a native of Sakthikulangara in the Kollam district of Kerala. Tresa’s plea alleges that she, who has a degree in Fire and Safety Engineering, was being denied a job as a fire and safety officer. When Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited invited applications for the post, it was made clear that women need not apply.

Tresa Josephine, in her plea, pointed out that she was denied the opportunity on the ground of being a woman despite having equal qualifications.

Justice Anu Sivaraman opined that there should be no discrimination on the ground of being a woman if she is qualified. The provision that only men can apply in the employment notification issued by Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited is a violation of the provisions of Articles 14,15 and 16 of the Constitution.

The factory law should not be a barrier for women to come to work at night. In the Hindustan Latex case, the High Court had said that the provision was made to avoid the exploitation of women working at night without their consent. The Supreme Court has recently made it clear that women should not be discriminated against in the appointments of permanent commissioners in the army.

KMML authorities explained that the safety officer’s job is 24 hours a day. The barrier is a provision in the Factory Act. The amendment ordinance allowing women to work night shifts was approved by the Cabinet on August 5, 2020 and sent to the Center, but the amendment has not come into force. There is a ban on appointing women in factories after 7 p.m.

Justice Anu Sivaraman opined that there should be no discrimination on the ground of being a woman if she is qualified. The provision that only men can apply in the employment notification issued by Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited is a violation of the provisions of Articles 14,15 and 16 of the Constitution.

The factory law should not be a barrier for women to come to work at night. In the Hindustan Latex case, the High Court had said that the provision was made to avoid the exploitation of women working at night without their consent. The Supreme Court has recently made it clear that women should not be discriminated against in the appointments of permanent commissioners in the army.

KMML authorities explained that the safety officer’s job is 24 hours a day. The barrier is a provision in the Factory Act. The amendment ordinance allowing women to work night shifts was approved by the Cabinet on August 5, 2020 and sent to the Center, but the amendment has not come into force. There is a ban on appointing women in factories after 7 p.m.

Source Link