Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Partner - Risk Management
Director Of Human Resources
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
Sr. Hr Executive @ Polymerupdate
Hr Director

As per the labour law, we are mandated to drop women employees home after 8 pm in BPO / IT sector.
Few queries
1. What is a women employee is availing their own transport? Will the company be responsible if something happens to them?
2. What if some women employees send a request that they will not be taking company transport for a particular day since someone is picking them up. What does the company do in such scenarios?
The above are tricky situations for companies. How can the company safeguard themselves in such situations legally?

From United States, San Francisco
Kindly refer to this link, I have answered your query there
Hope it helps

From India, Mumbai
Any deviations from the SOP should be allowed only in writing with a disclaimer on company's responsibility and should be ratified by a senior officer by way of prior approval.
Especially in the latter case; such deviations should be discouraged and restricted to extremely rare incidences based on special occasions or circumstances supported by valid reasons and in writing which should have the approval of senior reporting officers.
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Dear Andy,
Please take an undertaking from each female employee on daily basis that they wish to take care of their own transport and do not want to travel by company transport. They also have to mention that they are in full consciousness aware of security threats and that their parents/spouse are informed of the same.

From India, Chennai

If anyone voluntarily decides not to use the transport and security provided by you, then you are not liable for the consequences. However, it often happens in case of an incident, the authorities will be t your throat. The situation then is not "innocent till proved guilty". It is presumed guilty till rebutted.

So, you need to have proper documentation at your end and systems intended to ensure that the rules are followed and that they can't be bent to someone narrow agenda.

I would suggest :

- anyone not wanting to use company transport as they have their own car, must give it in writing to the HR head. Details of their transport must be provided. Security must be informed to allow that vehicle to come into the campus and parked at a safe place. If its parked outside, see if a security guard can accompany the female employee to the car and record safe start. (There will be other considerations depending on ground reality)

- it's very important to have a system to ensure that hr or operations is not encouraging or coercing someone to take private transport for logistic reasons or due to budgetary constraints (eg one person in a director, not enough sears in car / bus).

- in case anyone is leaving with someone else (employee or outsider) on one occasion, you must have a system. Perhaps a mail to hr and security head, copy kept to be signed out at gate and then filed. Or if you have an intranet based system with access to security, use that. That person must sign a gate register and provide details of vehicle and pick up person to security when leaving

Again, the above us example of what you may want to do

Basically you need proof that you have done your due diligence and the employee wanted to do it her way.

From India, Mumbai
Hi Guys,

I am facing a situation at my workplace. My company (A BPO/IT) firm provides transport facilities, with additional security provided for women working after 8pm. However the rules for women transportation stand as follows:

1. Women CANNOT use their own vehicles after 8pm, they MUST take the Company transport (2 violations of the said rule is thought to lead to immediate termination).

2. If they are not using the Company transport, they may ONLY be allowed to leave the Company premises IF they are escorted by their FATHER, BROTHER or HUSBAND. (God forbid that they are single in the city).

Now as a woman, who has been driving her own vehicle since the age of 18, I have repeatedly told the transport department and HR that I AM WILLING TO LEAVE ON MY OWN COGNIZANCE and have offered to provide them with a written letter or affidavit stating this, instead I have been told that as per the latest Karnataka Laws it is MANDATORY to take the Company transport after 8pm.

Is is legal for the Company to force an employee to utilize the Company transport, more so when she is willing to assume all the risks of travelling on her own and is willing to provide a statement to that effect ?

I have gone through the Karnataka Shops & Establishment Act and the Factories Act and there is no mention of any guidelines pertaining to women using their own vehicle. Please let me know if there is any specific statue or law that allows me to use my own vehicle.

Please provide links or reference numbers of the law/statute/circular as I will be escalating this issue.

Kindly note that getting my brother, father or husband to escort me is out of the question as I do not have a brother, my father is deceased and my husband's office is 20 km away from mine (one way).

Your urgent help is solicited.

From India, Bengaluru
Kindly help me with the format that we need to follow while taking the written undertaking from the female employees, who intend to travel on their own and not avail the company cab

Dear Anonymous,
Pick up and drop to the home to the woman employees during night hours is employer's responsibility. However, if any woman wishes to make her own arrangement then it will be out her volition. However, instead of issue of the letter to the woman employee, I recommend you obtaining affidavit from the woman employee. I recommend to take affidavit because it has more legal value than routing application submitted on plain paper.
In the affidavit tell the woman employee to write that making arrangement for the transportation on her own is her conscious choice and she will not hold employer responsible for the risks arising out of the this arrangement.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
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