Our Bureau

New Delhi, Jan 17

CLOSE on the heels of the gruesome rape and murder of a call centre employee in Bangalore, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has said it will finalise guidelines to ensure safety of women employees in the business process outsourcing sector.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting with call centre heads from the National Capital Region, police officials and NGOs, the NCW Chairperson, Ms Girija Vyas, said here on Tuesday that the Commission would, in a week's time, come up with guidelines to be followed by the industry. It is also open to the idea of changes in the law for the safety and security of women working in call centres.

"The representatives from the different sectors - industry leaders, police, NGOs - were all of the view that the guidelines or regulations should be in the form of a law. For this, changes would be required in the existing Factories Act. We will consider this also," Ms Vyas said.

Meanwhile, the commission has asked the call centre heads to put in place certain arrangements immediately, such as setting up a complaints committee to deal with cases of sexual harassment, carrying out police verification of the drivers and sensitisation of both women and men employees.

Amongst the suggestions that were put forth at the meeting was that the records of the drivers be put on a CD and be available with the police and also that the drivers could once a week present themselves at the local police station.

"Transport facility was one of the most important issues discussed, and suggestions such as women not being the first to be picked up or the last to be dropped were made," she said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 18, 2006)
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