Labour is a concurrent subject on which both central and State legislatures can make laws, there are more than 40 labour laws in India, so in order to avoid confusion and to reduce complexity, increase ease of compliance and having accountability and transparency the Government thought of redefining the labour laws in just 4 codes being:-
- Code on Wages 2019
- Industrial Relations Code 2020
- Code on Social Security 2020
- Occupational Safety, Health and Working conditions code 2020
- So, starting with the first code Code on Wages this was a milestone in labour market reforms which consolidates four labour laws which are:-
- Payment of Wages Act, 1936
- The Minimum Wages Act, 1948
- The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965
- Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
- The Industrial Relations Code this code combines three acts those are:-
- Trade Union Act, 1926
- Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946
- Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
Major changes in this code are regarding the number of workers. As per this Code if an organization has more than 300 workers( which was 100 previously) then it is mandatory for that organization to make regulations about the workers classification, workers holidays, paydays, and wage rates of the workers. The second major change bought was if any organization consisting of 300 or more than 300 workers is having closure, layoff, or retrenchment so that organization has to take prior permission from the government.
It further mentions that if any employee goes on strike then he has to give a prior notice before 14 days which will be valid for 60 days. Changes were also bought for the trade union which says that if any establishment comprises of more than one trade union, then the status of sole negotiating union will only be provided if the union consist of at least 51% (which was previously 75%) of the employees as members.
Code on Social Security 2020
This code consists of nine existing labour laws which relate with social security, retirement and employee benefits, it provides various schemes and comprehensive social security for organized workers as well as unorganized workers. This code mentions that the Government will update all about the provident fund, Employment Injury benefit, Housing, Educational Schemes for Children. It has also expanded the definition of Employees which includes – Inter State Migrant workers, Platform Workers, Gig Workers, and Film Industry Workers etc.
New gratuity period for working Journalist are reduced from 5 years to 3 years. Further the central government can reduce the employer’s or employee’s contributions (under Provident Fund and Employees State Insurance).For a period of three months in the case of a Pandemic, Endemic and National disaster.
Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working conditions, 2020
This code replaces 13 Labour Laws such as
The Factories Act, 1948
Dock workers Act, 1986
Contract Labour Act, 1970
Inter State Migrant Workers Act, 1979
The main aim of this code is to regulate the Health Safety working conditions of the workers.
Now let’s see the main features of the code:-
- Manpower limits on hazardous conditions were removed
- Maximum daily work limit was 8 hrs per day
- Women can work in an establishment and its providing adequate safeguard will be the employer’s responsibility.
- The central government has to maintain a record of the inter State Migrant workers
- Workers who are earning more than 18000 per month will come under Inter State migrant workers and can take the benefit of Public Distribution system, Building cess, Insurance and PF.
These labour codes are a very major reform for India’s Labour Laws. If the organization reforms their organization then these unorganized workers will get basic security and there will be much business growth. Now with time we can know more about the implementation and how specifically it will be beneficial for the employees, employer, and for the economy in general.
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