All four labour codes likely to be made effective from April 1

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 14, 2020 Published on October 14, 2020

The government hopes that these new laws will facilitate ease of doing business and boost investment   -  THE HINDU

Draft rules for three codes to be made public next month

The government intends to implement all the four labour codes from April 1. These four codes will subsume all existing 29 Central labour laws.

The four codes are — Industrial Relations Code, Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code (OSH), Social Security Code and Code on Wages. Though the fourth Code was enacted and rules finalised last year, however since all are interconnected, so it has been proposed to implement all the four together.

“We hope to finalise rules for remaining three codes during last quarter of FY 2020-21,” Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra told reporters here. There are some rules to be framed by the Centre while some are to be formulated by States.

“We have written to all the States to finalise rules on their part,” he said.

45 days for feedback

The Centre will publish draft rules on its part during second half of next month. Then 45 days will be given to stakeholders to give their feedback. Based on the feedback and if required large stakeholder consultation, rules will be framed accordingly. There are indications that some rules could be notified earlier and some later depend upon how States proactively work for finalisation of rules on their part.

These codes have already been enacted after passed by Parliament and accented by the President earlier this month.

Ease of doing business

The government hopes that these new laws will facilitate ease of doing business and boost investment. These will establish transparent, answerable and simple mechanism reducing to one registration, one licence and one return for all codes, Labour Ministry had said after passage of there codes in Parliament.

The OSH Code (operational safety and health) envisages safe working environment for workers especially women. An effective dispute resolution mechanism is being ensured through Industrial Relations Code providing for time-bound dispute resolution system in every institution. The Social Security Code provides a framework to include organised and unorganised sector workers under the ambit of comprehensive social security. It also contains provisions relating to EPFO, ESIC, building construction workers, maternity benefits, gratuity and social security fund for unorganised sector workers.

For the first time in the OSH Code, annual health check-up has been provided for workers above a certain age. It also provides for the payment of at least 50 per cent of the penalty imposed on an employer for injury or death at the work place, to the aggrieved worker, in addition to other benefits. With all these provisions, an effort has been made to give workers a safe working environment. A provision has been made that women can work in any type of institution at night as per their choice.

Thee government claims that fixed term employees’ service conditions, salary, leave and social security will also be the same as a Regular Employee. In addition, fixed term employee has also been given the right to pro-rata Gratuity. As far as raising the threshold in retrenchment, closure or lay-off in the IR Code from 100 workers to 300, it says labour is the subject of concurrent list, and the concerned state governments have right to change the laws. He informed that as many as 16 States, using this right, have already increased this limit.

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Published on October 14, 2020
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