Bengaluru BPO tells employee that company is only responsible for them while they are working and not when they log out
Bengaluru,June17:The murder of Prathibha, a BPO employee way back on December 13, 2005 shocked the entire industry. This tragic incident led to many changes especially with better safety measures being implemented by IT/BT and BPO companies.
However, in Bengaluru where the incident took place, it looks some companies are still trying to save money by not providing their women employees who work in the night shift with cab pick-up and drop facilities.
One such is IDC Technologies that is located on Hosur Main Road in Madiwala. This company has its Global Operating Centres in the US, Canada, Mexico and India.
Manisha Kumari, a technical recruiter, has decided to bring out the lackadaisical attitude of the company officials when it comes to safety of women at their workplace.
Having joined this tech company in the month of February, she was told that there would be no cab pick-up and drop facility for one month and thereafter things would be sorted out. But till today, the company has not provided any cab facility at all.
In fact, she tells India Today that it is just not for the past few months, but this issue has been dragging on for the last 2 years. Initially, the female employees worked from 6.30pm to 3.30am, but when they complained that they cannot get transport that early in the morning, the timings were changed from 7.30pm to 4.30am.
Manisha says that there were many female employees who travelled far and this was proving to be a hassle and dangerous as well. So much so that some of them would wait after their log out hours till sunrise before heading out to find themselves an auto, bus or cab.
This is risky and Manisha herself faced three incidents of harassment after logging out even though she lives just 4km from the office.
Telling us what happened, she says, “Once, I was harassed by a cab driver near the Silk Board Junction who misbehaved with me when I was leaving work and another time by 2 bike-borne men. The third incident was by a passerby.”
She received no help from the tech company since the Vice President had clearly told them all that the company is only responsible for them while they are working and not when they log out.
MINISTERS SAYS WILL TAKE ACTION
Manisha today met the IT Minister Priyank Kharge, who gave her a patient hearing and assured action will be taken after she files a written complaint with his department.
He tells India Today that his department writes to these companies every quarter or six months to follow these rules. The minister also promised that, “If companies flout these rules, we will take action because there are set rules for this.”
COMPANY DODGES QUESTIONS
India Today then visited IDC Technologies to confront them on this matter. From initially refusing to respond to these allegations, they claimed that they have done nothing wrong.
However, their HR in-charge of the night shift tried to dodge our questions by saying that negotiations are on with cab vendors to get this facility started.
He further went on to add that it is not easy to get this sorted out quickly because they have to deal with the management and there are costs involved as well. As of now, he tells us that they are having discussions and once the management approves the budget, the cabs can be deployed.
The HR of IDC Technologies says that since they never had cab facilities for women working in the night shift, women in general never joined them. But, since the past 3 months they have had a lot of female employees joining. So to avoid giving them cabs, the company has increased their CTC so that female employees can manage their own transportation.
Towards the end of 2016, the state government removed restrictions on allowing women to work in night shifts in all sectors and not only in IT and ITES sectors.
But this came with stringent rules and regulations. The Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1961 and the Factories Act 1948 were amended to make provision for women to work in night shifts with a slew of conditions to ensure their safety, security and privacy needs. This included written consent, provision of separate loos, first priority in pick-up and drop, among others.