Ministry of Labour and Employment has taken a number of initiatives for bringing transparency and accountability through reforms and enforcement of Labour Laws, with the objective of strengthening the safety, security, health, social security for every worker and bringing ease of compliance for running an establishment to catalyse (Change) creation of employment opportunities. These initiatives include governance reforms through the use of e-governance measures and legislative reforms by simplifying, amalgamating and rationalizing the existing labour laws into 4 labour codes.
LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES: LABOUR LAW REFORMS
Labour Codes: As per the recommendations of the 2nd National Commission on Labour, Ministry has taken steps for the codification of existing Central labour laws into 4 Codes by simplifying, amalgamating and rationalizing the relevant provisions of the Central Labour laws. At present, the Ministry has been working on to simplify, amalgamate & rationalize the provisions of the existing Central labour laws into 4 Labour Codes.
(I) Labour Code on Wages: The Code on Wages, 2019 subsumes following 4 existing Laws:
(i) The Payment of Wages Act, 1936;
(ii) The Minimum Wages Act, 1948;
(iii) The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and
(iv) The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
The Code on Wages, 2019 bill (“The Bill”) was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 23, 2019, and passed in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on July 30, 2019, and August 02, 2019, respectively. The Bill has now become an Act since it has received the assent of President of India on 8.08.2019. The Act has not been enforced so far because govt. has yet to notify the date of applicability of the complete Act or different dates for different provisions for commencement of the code.
The code has 69 Sections in 9 Chapters. The code provides 26 definitions of different terms taken from four existing laws with certain changes and modifications in some definitions.
(II) Labour Code on Industrial Relations:
The draft Labour Code on Industrial Relations subsumes the following Laws:
(i) The Trade Union Act, 1926;
(ii) The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946; and
(iii) The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
The Industrial Relations Code, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Santosh Kumar Gangwar, on November 28, 2019. It was referred to the Standing Committee on Labour on December 23, 2019.
(III) Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare:
The draft Code on Social Security subsumes following Labour Acts like:
(i) The Employees‘ Compensation Act, 1923;;
(ii) The Employees‘ State Insurance Act, 1948;
(iii) The Employees‘ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952;
(iv) The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961;
(v) The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972;
(vi) The Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981;
(vii) The Building and Other Construction Workers Cess Act, 1996; and
(viii) The Unorganized Workers‘ Social Security Act, 2008.
The Code on Social Security, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Santosh Kumar Gangwar, on December 11, 2019. It was referred to the Standing committee on Labour on December 23, 2019.
(IV) Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions:
The Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2019 subsumes following the Labour Acts:
(i) The Factories Act, 1948;
(ii) The Plantation Labour Act, 1951;
(iii) The Mines Act, 1952;
(iv) The Working Journalist and other News Paper Employees (Conditions of Service and Miscellaneous Provision) Act, 1955;
(v) The Working Journalist (Fixation of rates of wages) Act, 1958;
(vi) The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961;
(vii) The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966
(viii)The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970;
(ix) The Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976;
(xi) The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979;
(xi) The Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers Act, 1981;
(xii) The Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986; and
(xiii) The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.
The Occupational Safety Health & Working Conditions Code, 2019 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 23.07.2019. It was referred to Standing Committee on October 09, 2019.
GOVERNANCE REFORMS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Shram Suvidha Portal:
The Ministry of Labour & Employment has developed a unified Web Portal ‘Shram Suvidha Portal’, to bring transparency and accountability in enforcement of labour laws and ease the complexity of compliance.
Allotment of Unique Labour Identification Number (LIN) to Units after registration to facilitate online inspection & compliance was started on the Portal with its launch on 16.10.2014 itself.
DISCLAIMER: IN NO EVENT THE AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT SPECIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGE RESULTING FROM OR ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THIS INFORMATION.