Labour & Employment | Ministry notifies rules to allow employment of ‘Women in Mines’

In exercise of the power conferred under sub-section (1) of Section 83 on the Mines Act, 1952 (35 of 1952), the Central Government hereby exempts the women employed in any mine above ground and in any mine below ground from the provisions of Section 46 of the Mines Act, 1952, subject to the following conditions, namely:-

(a) In the case of women employed in any mine above ground,-

     (i) The owner of a mine may deploy women between the hours of 7 pm and 6 am in the mine above ground including opencast workings;

     (ii) the deployment of women shall be after obtaining the written consent of the concerned woman employee;

    (iii) the women so deployed shall be provided with adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security, and health;

     (iv) the deployment of women shall be subject to the framing and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures on the basis of the guidelines issued in this regard by the Chief Inspector of Mines from time to time;

      (v)    the deployment of women shall be in a group of not less than three in a shift.

(b) in the case of women employed in any mine below ground –

     (i) the owner of a mine may deploy women between the hours of 6 am and 7 pm in technical, supervisory and managerial work where continuous presence may not be required.

      (ii)    the deployment of women shall be after obtaining the written consent of the concerned woman employee;

     (iii) the women so deployed shall be provided with adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security and health;

     (iv) the deployment of women shall be subject to the framing and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures on the basis of the guidelines issued in this regard by the Chief Inspector of Mines from time to time;

     (v) the deployment of women shall be in a group of not less than three.

The Mines Act, 1952, restricted the employment of women in underground mines and also in opencast or aboveground workings of the mine during night hours between 7 PM and 6 AM. Several women employees groups, industry and students enrolled with various institutions pursuing mining engineering courses at degree and diploma levels have been representing to the government at a different forum that women should be provided equal employment opportunity for working in mines. Requests from Mining Companies were also received. Ministry of Labour & Employment has taken a decision in line with the recommendations of the Section 12 committee set up under Mines Act, 1952 and in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to allow the employment of women in aboveground mines including opencast workings between 7 PM and 6 AM to all categories of employees and in below ground working between 6 AM and 7 PM in technical, supervisory and managerial work where continuous presence may not be required to vide Gazette Notification No. 393 ( S.O. 506(E)) dated 29 January 2019. The safeguards like obtaining the written consent of the women employee, deployment in groups of not less than three (03) and provisions for framing and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures on the basis of the guidelines issued in this regard by the Chief Inspector of Mines, have been incorporated.

Ministry of Labour & Employment

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