A joint committee of the Karnataka legislature believes women in the information technology sector should not be put on night shifts for their own security, The Hindu reported. The panel made the recommendations for Bengaluru and other cities in the state where several such companies are located. However, the National Association of Software and Services Companies has said this move would cut down job opportunities for women.

According to the report tabled by the 21-member women and children welfare committee, companies will have to allocate morning or the afternoon shifts to women employees. The committee, headed by Congress MLA NA Haris, has pitched for amendments in existing laws to ensure anyone accused of crimes against women and children is not able to escape, reported The Times of India.

Haris said several women had approached the committee saying they were “forced” to do night shifts. He said companies can assign men to night shifts and keep women in day time shifts. “Precaution is always better than cure,” he told ANI.

Nasscom said the government has to ensure security of women in cities where IT companies operate. “Every stakeholder too must do their bit to ensure safety,” Sangeeta Gupta, senior vice president at Nasscom, told The Hindu. Night shifts are unavoidable and create more job opportunities for women in the BPO sector, she added.

In December 2016, the Siddaramaiah government had amended the Shops and Commercial Establishments Act 1961 and Factories Act 1948 to do away with all kinds of rules restricting women from working night shifts. Prior to that, only the women employees of IT and ITES sectors were allowed to work night shifts.