BL Explainer

BL Explainer: Haryana’s Private Job Reservation Law

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani | | Updated on: Jan 17, 2022
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What is Haryana’s private job quota all about?

The Haryana government has brought in the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act 2020, which makes it mandatory for all employers in the State to reserve 75 per cent of the jobs offering a monthly gross salary or wages of up to ₹30,000 for local candidates. This law applies to new recruitments and will not come into effect from retrospective effect.

The Act applies to all the ‘Employers’ in the State. This includes all companies, partnership firms, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms and any person or employer that employs 10 or more employees in any trade, business, manufacturing units or enterprises.

Has it come into effect?

The Haryana State Legislative Assembly passed this Bill in November 2020. The government made some amendments to the Act including relaxing domicile conditions for local candidates and reducing the threshold level from ₹50,000 gross monthly salary to ₹30,000 gross monthly salary for employers. It was finally enforced on January 15. The law will have a sunset clause and will cease after ten years of enactment.

What does it seek to achieve?

The private jobs reservation was part of the election manifesto of Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party, the alliance partner in Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP-JJP coalition government in the State. One of the key arguments of the government has been that urbanisation and industrialisation has led to substantial land acquisition in the State, which has historically been an agrarian society. The government believes this has led to reduction in employment opportunities in agriculture sector for the local youth and the law will help create new job opportunities for them and also encourage skill development. It also believes it will reduce dependency of employers in Haryana on migrant workers and improve their efficiencies.

What impact will it have on the industry?

All employers in the State have been directed to register their existing employees garnering a monthly pay of not exceeding ₹30,000 on the designated portal within three months and can now initiate any new recruitment in this pay bracket only after completing this process. They will also need to file a quarterly report on the government’s designated portal providing information regarding the local candidates employed and appointed in this pay bracket in the previous quarter as per the norm.

Industry bodies have raised concerns on implementation of a law that is discriminatory in nature and against the concept of one nation. They believe this will substantially increase their compliance burden especially on small and micro enterprises.

One of the key concerns of the industry is also whether enough workers will be even available for jobs in trades that are dominated by workers from certain clusters of the country, such as construction and manufacturing as well as in the services sector such as hospitality and retail.

There is a provision for an exemption if an adequate number of local candidates of desired skill or proficiency are not available for a particular category of jobs. But the government can accept or reject the claim or direct the company to train local candidates in the desired skills.

What are the challenges in implementing it and will it affect Haryana’s investment climate?

India Inc has said this will impact the business-friendly image of the State, ease of doing business rankings and may also discourage fresh investments by industries. The industry bodies have also said any rule which tries to artificially control the internal functioning of a private enterprise against the market, will affect its competitiveness in the market and hurt their productivity.

Has it been challenged in a court of law?

Several industry bodies have challenged the law in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. But, so far, have not got a stay on the implementation. The court dismissed a plea for early hearing last week and has now scheduled the hearing to February 2.

Published on January 17, 2022

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