States to set up security panel for BPO employees

The Centre has asked BPOs  to take measures to monitor the pick and drop facility for women employees working in night shifts. The move comes after a BPO employee was abducted by a group of men and raped after being dropped by her office vehicle last week.

Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot told Deccan Herald on Monday that a plan was being prepared by the Department of IT, BPO firms and other stakeholders to find out ways to enhance safety and security for women employees. The minister also held a meeting with representatives of National Association of Software and Service Companies, the police and other staff.

The Centre has identified seven cities-Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Gurgoan,Chennai, Noida and Kolkata–to set up monitoring committees.

The panel will have representatives from state governments, the police, BPO firms and residents’ welfare organisations to device a mechanism that adds to the safety of women working in night shifts. These committees will meet once in three months to review the situation.

Stating that the BPO sector gives 25 lakh direct jobs, 40 per cent of which are women, Pilot said: “It is a sunrise sector and we cannot allow any stigma to be attached to it…BPO companies need to be extra sensitive towards the needs as their safety is the issue of our prime concern. We need to have a zero tolerance approach towards any kind of crime against women employees and special courts would be set up to ensure quick justice.”

The government has also asked the IT and BPO industry to maintain a database of all employees, including drivers and other contract staff, to ensure the security of workers, especially women, travelling at night. If required, biometric identification should also be done,  Pilot said.

The minister said employers need to ensure that every employee, including sanitation and catering personnel, is verified and added that after dropping female staff, the driver should wait till they reach their home.

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