Following a gap of several years, a national conference of Union and State labour ministers is set to be held later this month with the proposed Labour Codes at the top of the agenda.

The National Labour Conference will be held on August 25 and 26 in Tirupati, according to official sources. Union Labour Minister, Bhupender Yadav, as well as State labour ministers will attend the meet.

Issues relating to integration of e-Shram portal as well as initiatives of ESIC will also be key topics of discussion, said an official source.

Additionally, the long pending Labour Codes will one of the key priorities that would be taken up for discussion, with the objective to discuss and understand concerns of State governments.

Long pending codes

The centre is keen to roll out the four Labour Codes either sometime this fiscal year or at the latest by April 2023. A major roadblock to its swift implementation is the fact that a number of States are yet to finalise the draft rules for the four Codes. Without all States on board, it would be difficult to implement the Codes.

With a view to streamline the decades old labour laws, the Centre had codified 29 national labour laws into four codes — the Code on Wages, the Code on Social Security, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions and the Industrial Relations Code.

According to the official data, 31 States and Union Territories have pre-published the draft rules under the Code on Wages, 2019; 26 on the Industrial Relations Code, 2020; on the Code on Social Security, 2020; and 24 States and UTs on the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020.

Chintan Shivir

Meanwhile, the Union Labour Minister, Bhupender Yadav is also meeting the officials of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation(ESIC) and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation(EPFO) in what is being called as Chintan Shivir.

The two day ESIC meeting concluded on Thursday while a similar brainstorming session with EPFO is scheduled for later this month.

After the ESIC meeting, the minister tweeted, “Underlined that the focus must be on fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Swastha se Samridhi by bridging the gap between policy and execution, working towards the collective goal of welfare of poor and capacity building at individual and institutional level.”

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