Nov 29, 2016

NIGHT WORK FOR WOMEN

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS WHICH APPLY WHEN WOMEN WORK AT NIGHT

night-work-for-women-guide-to-the-employment-act
credit image : huffpost.com

Section 34

Currently all employers are exempted from this clause providing certain conditions are met. These conditions are:
  • Female employees must give their written consent to work at night.
  • Female employees must be provided with free transport to and from the workplace if they work at night.
  • Female employees must be provided with a shift allowance if they work at night. The rate is to be agreed between the parties.
  • Female employees must work on a rotating shift system. They are not permitted to work the night shift for longer than one month at a time.
  • Employers must give special attention to the welfare and safety of the females working the night shift.
  • Females must have a minimum of 11 hours rest between shifts.
  • Females on the night shift must have a weekly rest of not less than 30 hours.
This section of the Act does not affect women working in commerce, hospitality, public health, entertainment and other industries which are not industrial or agricultural.

Employers should note that while it may be legal to discriminate between male and female workers working a night shift, it is likely to lead to dissatisfaction amongst the workers. For instance, transport has to be provided for female workers, but there is no similar requirement for male workers. Where male workers request transport for the night shift, an attempt should be made to meet their request. Similarly, a shift allowance is not required under the Act for male workers but it would be poor human resource management practice to pay females a shift allowance, yet not pay a similar allowance to males.

DOES THE EMPLOYMENT ACT ESTABLISH ANY RESTRICTIONS ON WOMEN WORKING AT NIGHT?


The Employment Act includes a clause prohibiting women from working at night (10pm until 5am) if they are employed in any industrial or agricultural business or undertaking. The industrial sector includes quarrying, mining, manufacturing, packing, ship-building, and the electricity sector.

The restrictions do not apply to service-related industries.

Read more our Guide to the Employment Act here.

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