Report No. 256
(iii) Right to Employment
7.10.6 The economic empowerment of Persons affected by Leprosy and their family members is a crucial need, which must be actively supported and facilitated by the State. However, many employers misuse the existing employment legislations to terminate the employment of persons once they are diagnosed with Leprosy.141
141. Data provided by TLMTI (n 88).
7.10.7 Section 2(o)(oo)(c) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 is relevant in this regard, since it states that the termination of the service of an employee or a workman on the ground of continued ill-health does not constitute retrenchment. This section does not mention Leprosy as a ground for termination as such, but may be indirectly resorted to terminate the employment of an affected person or his/ her family member due to the social stigma attached to the condition.
7.10.8 The Law Commission recommends that to tackle these issues of employment, the proposed legislation should include measures that prohibit termination of employment of Persons affected by Leprosy and their family members solely on the basis of the infection of the disease and the associated stigma. The government can also consider providing quotas in institutions for Persons affected by Leprosy and their families or alternative employment opportunities, where they are physically capable of being employed, in order to encourage such persons to become financially independent.