Women's safety: Cops, Labour dept tighten grip on tech firms

Women's safety: Cops, Labour dept tighten grip on tech firms

Want concrete steps for safety of females working night shifts

Women's safety: Cops, Labour dept tighten grip on tech firms

The police have asked technology firms to take a slew of steps for security of their women staff working night shifts. A full background check of their support staff is one of these measures.

On Tuesday, senior police officers, along with officials from Labour and IT and BT departments, met the representatives of technology firms to ensure they meet the security measures prescribed by labour regulations.

Addressing the gathering, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) Rohini Katoch Sepat advised the companies to ensure background verification of their supporting staff. “Their complete biodata, including their background, hometown and phone numbers, has to be in place. We have seen that many companies have absolutely no data,” she said.

‘Code of Honour’

Assistant Labour Commissioner Zaheer Basha said the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Acts and Rules did not originally allow employment of women in night shifts (after 8 pm). But an amendment was made, exempting the IT and other knowledge-based companies as long as they followed the required safety guidelines. The official said the permission was given based on the “code of honour” in the belief that all the companies that were provided exemption would meet the required security standards.

The police, however, reiterated these were just guidelines and were not legally binding. Rama N S, CEO of Electronics City Industrial Township Authority, said the security measures should be a participatory process involving employees, companies and the government.

Police Commissioner N S Megharikh called for a sub-zero tolerance towards atrocities against women. “We have to nip it in the bud.” Even though the Bengaluru police are short-staffed, they would not use it as an excuse to avoid putting the required measures in place, he stressed. He also urged women to be aware of their surroundings and take precaution.

‘These measures do help’

Sneha, a former employee of a multi-national company in the City who took part in the awareness drive, said these measures would go a long way in instilling confidence in women employees.

“I used to work night shifts. Some of the measures that have been prescribed definitely help. For instance, in my company, they would not share my contact details with the driver. It was ensured that the same driver would not drop the employee regularly. Also, when security officers are accompanying you, it is a reassurance.”

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