Tamil Nadu: Promotes democracy and human rights around the world, but in its own country, employees do not have the right to sit at work.
According to a report published in Al Jazeera, Tamil Nadu has become the second state in India where women working in shops have the right to sit while working.
According to the report, people working in shops in India, most of whom are women, are given only 20 minutes of lunch break in 10 hours of duty time and they could only sit during the lunch break.
One such woman, S Lakshmi, 40, told Al Jazeera that she had been working in the shop for more than a decade. They were not allowed to sit or lean on anything for the entire 10 hours during work, and even on the floor we were not allowed to sit without a customer. We could just sit back and relax our legs for a 20 minute break called lunch break.
She added that she used to return home with constant pain in her legs and swollen ankles after completing her daily duties, but now she hopes the law will bring some relief to her life. In Tamil Nadu, the ‘Right to Sit’ law, passed last month, has ordered shop owners to make adequate seating for working men and women.
Retail is a major pillar of India’s fast-growing economy, accounting for 10% of GDP, but the monopoly of large business families running jewelery, saree and clothing stores across India, especially in the southern states. Dari employs women from the lower middle class to deal with female customers. Not only are they paid less, but they are also discriminated against, the worst of which is not allowing employees to sit. Against which a law was brought in 2018 in the neighboring state of Kerala in Tamil Nadu. After Kerala, Tamil Nadu has become the second state where employees are allowed to sit while working.
Regarding the new law, Tamil Nadu Labor Secretary R Karlosh Kumar said, “We have started raiding shops and fines are being imposed on shops where there are no stools or chairs for employees to sit on.”
However, The Retail Association of India, which represents 500,000 shops across India, has not yet commented on the law.