Word 'workmen' to be replaced by 'worker' in law



New Delhi: Government on Thursday showed its sensitivity on gender issues by deciding to amend the title of a law by replacing the word 'workmen' by 'worker' in it.

The Union Cabinet at its meeting approved a proposal to amend the title of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act of 1979 to Inter-State Migrant Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979.

A bill to give effect to this amendment would be introduced in the ensuing session of Parliament, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The Act, which regulates the employment of inter-state migrant workers and their conditions of service, would become gender neutral by amending its title and replacing the word 'workman and workmen' by the words 'worker and workers' respectively, she said.

The law was enacted to safeguard the interests of migrant workers in a system which is an exploitative one, Soni said.

A Task Force, constituted for amendment of labour laws concerning women and children, recommended the change in the title to make it gender neutral. This recommendation was accepted and the amendment was proposed, she said.

PTI