BMS rejects draft Labour Code on social security

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 28, 2019

Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh demanded that the eligibility for gratuity should be reduced to one year as up to 80% of workers in many organised sector units are contract labour   -  Getty Images/Manu_Bahuguna

Draft is ‘a weak cut-and-paste’ of existing social security laws, it tells Labour Ministry

Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has “rejected” the draft on Social Security Code and termed it ‘totally disappointing’ for the workers in the country. BMS submitted its comments to the Labour Ministry on the draft here on Monday which said the draft is ‘a weak cut-and-paste’ of the existing eight social security laws with different threshold limits for different benefits.

Creates class division

“This is contrary to the objectives of codification. Unlike the Wage Code, it is not universal, ie it did not aim the last worker to be be benefited by all the benefits. It creates a class division of privileged ‘employees’, ‘workers’ and unfortunate ‘wage workers’ with different sets of benefits,” BMS national president Saji Narayanan said in a statement.

He said that compared with the fourth draft of the code, which is presently being discussed among various stakeholders, the first draft contained highly beneficial provisions such as providing the right to social security for all, last worker having access to nearly 14 social security benefits, constituting a central apex council that is headed by none other than the Prime Minister himself, Suraksha Mitrams being engaged at every local body level to assist workers in enrolling and disbursing benefits, creating a separate social security cadre, assuring that wage for the purpose of calculation will not be less than minimum wage, benefits continuing even after retirement and providing a separate fund for gratuity.

“They are all missing. BMS demanded that the eligibility for gratuity should be reduced from five years to one year in view of up to 80 per cent of workers engaged in many organised sector units being contract labour,” he said.

Powers arbitrarily retained

He felt most of the powers under the Code are arbitrarily retained for executive decisions including power to exempt the law to establishments or arbitrarily reducing the rate of contribution to the social security funds.

“The government share of 1.16 per cent in EPS has been withdrawn. Flaws in the existing social security laws raised by trade unions are not at all taken care of in the Code,” he claimed.

Published on October 28, 2019

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