Govt. provisions for workers in garment factories

New data suggests there is an increase in employment in the garment manufacturing sector since 2019-20. The government has enacted certain acts to benefit those working in the industry

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The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) collected data on employment and unemployment conducted by the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) from 2017-18. The survey period is from July to June of the next year.

According to the latest PLFS report, the estimated Worker Population Ratio (WPR) on usual status for people over the age of 15 years has increased to 52.6 per cent during 2020-21 from 50.9 per cent in 2019.

There have been changes in the estimated percentage of women working in the garment manufacturing sector. The average percentage of women workers in the garment industry has gone up in 2020-21 according to the report. Women workers have increased from an average of 3.72 per cent in 2019-20 to 4 per cent. The total average has also shot up to 2.2 per cent of workers working in the garment industry.

The data presented indicates that employment in the garment sector has gone up.

Reacting to the same, the government of India enacted the Factories Act, 1948 which provides for occupational safety, health and welfare of workers including women workers working in factories registered under the said Act. Specific provisions have been prescribed for the occupational safety of workers at workplace including garment factories.

The responsibility to enforce and monitor the act will be upon the state governments and through the Chief Inspector of Factories/ Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health.

The Government has also enacted the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (SH Act) with aims to provide safe and secure work environment to women irrespective of their work status.

The Act casts an obligation upon every employer/organizations whether in private or public sector, employing 10 or more persons, to constitute Internal Committee (IC) for receiving complaints of sexual harassment.

Similarly, the state government is authorized to constitute a Local Committee (LC) in every district which will receive complaints from organizations having less than 10 workers or if the complaint is against employers itself.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Shri Rameswar Teli, in a written reply in Lok Sabha on December 19, 2022.

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