Friday June 14, 2024

Proposed amendments to HBWs Act 2023 discussed

By Our Correspondent
June 08, 2024
Representational image of women workers learning embroidery. — PPI/File
Representational image of women workers learning embroidery. — PPI/File

LAHORE: An NGO on Friday organised a consultation on proposed amendments to the Home-Based Workers Act 2023 to ensure health and safety of the workers.

MPAs Asma Naz Abbasi, Qudsia Batool, and Rushda Lodhi, representatives of various civil society organisations, Labour Department, home-based workers union and media organisations joined the consultation to give their input on the proposed amendments.

The amendments suggest that every employer, contractor as well as middleman shall take all possible measures to ensure safety and health of his home-based employees, ensure regular identification of the existing and new hazards at the workplace; train the workers on safety and health; get them vaccinated and inoculated against occupation related diseases once in a year.

They will also make arrangements to control and prevent physical, chemical, biological, radiological, ergonomics and psycho-social hazards to the employees and other persons (like children) at the workplace; inform the employees before any work commences, the hazards associated with their work, and the protective measures needed to be taken.

It also requires the workers to take certain measures for their own safety and of other people at the workplace. It recommends a fine of Rs20,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment on violators of any provision of the Act regarding occupational safety & health in addition to the claim of compensation in case of injury or death.

Labour director Muhammad Shahid shared that changes to the act have become inevitable to meet the conditions set for continuing the facility of GSP Plus status for European markets. Labour Education Foundation (LEF) director Khalid Mahmood urged the MPAs to take forward the cause of the workers by getting amended the 2023 Act.

He hoped that the regime of a woman chief minister solved the problems of 20 million home-based workers in Punjab, 12 million of them being women. Trade union leader Niaz Khan talked about non-implementation of the existing labour laws. Earlier, Prof Ayesha Ahmed shared data about home-based workers, the ratio of work-related injuries found among them.