• Sunday, Sep 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:46 pm

India ruling could allow millions of home workers to access benefits

  • Published at 03:29 pm July 27th, 2019
INDIA-ECONOMY/BUDGET
Women carry pitchers filled with water from an opening made to filter water next to a polluted lake in Thane, India June 13, 2019 Reuters

The ruling could affect millions of women not given employee status because they work from home

A ruling by India's top court that a garment firm must pay pensions to women who worked from home in the 1990s could help millions of "invisible" workers access staff benefits, labour rights activists said on Friday.

The Supreme Court this week directed Godavari Garments Limited to make pension payments of more than 1 million Indian rupees to the women it employed within a month, saying the fact they had worked at home did make them ineligible.

The ruling could affect millions of women not given employee status because they work from home, a common practice in India's garment sector.

The industry employs more than 12 million people in factories, but millions more work from home, according to a study by the University of California released earlier this year.

"This is a very welcome decision because it acknowledges the home as a workplace and women working from home as employees," said Shalini Sinha, a specialist with the global network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing.

"Acknowledgement of the employer-employee relationship will have far-reaching impact on ensuring social security and benefits for millions of such workers," she said.

There are estimated to be 37 million home based workers across various sectors in India, but Sinha said the true figure was likely higher.

Besides being denied minimum wages, home-workers get no social security or medical benefits from employers and have virtually no avenue to seek redress for abusive or unfair conditions, the University of California report said.

The case the Supreme Court ruled on dates back to 1991, when the government first issued notices accusing Godavari Garments of defaulting on payments to the Employees' Provident Fund, India's state-run pension fund.

The manufacturer argued that the work could have been done by anyone and as it had no supervisory control over the seamstresses, they were not employees.

But the court rejected that, saying since the manufacturer had the right to reject defective work, it had supervisory control.

Charity worker Karrupu Samy said the number of women working from home without proper benefits in the sector was growing.

"We are seeing increasing numbers of manufacturers employ women who have a sewing machine in their homes to stitch," said Samy, director of READ, which works with garment workers in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

"On paper they have very few employees they have to give social security to. The women working from homes don't count, they remain invisible."

54
54
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail