Govt notifies fixed-term employment in apparel sector

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 08, 2016

To provide flexibility to employers in the apparel manufacturing sector to hire and fire, the Labour Ministry on Saturday notified amendments to the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders), making way for fixed-term employment. The notificiation comes even as central trade unions, including the RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, have ​been ​stiffly oppos​ing such a move.

​Terming the move as a win-win for employers and employees, ​the Labour ​Ministry said: "​The decision would facilitate employment of workers in apparel manufacturing on fixed term basis in the backdrop of seasonal nature of sector and would also ensure same working conditions, wages and other benefits for fixed term employee in the sector as a regular employee."

The Ministry said this was one the measures approved under ​t​he Rs 6,000 crore package for the textile sector announced in June this year. "The measures assume significance also due to its potential for social transformation through women empowerment. Since 70 per cent of the workforce in the garment industry is women, majority of the new jobs created are likely to go to women," the Ministry added.

​Fixed​-term employment has been defined as a contract for a fixed period, after which the services of a workman will be automatically terminated. Separation of service of an employee as a result of non-renewal of contract with the employer shall not be construed as termination of employment.

On termination of fixed term employment, the workman will not be entitled to any notice or pay.

​TUs up in arms​

However, central trade unions have oppos​ed the move as "anti-worker".

Tapan Sen, General Secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in a statement issued earlier said it was shocking that Ministry could "silently" issue the said notification without asking for the opinion of the central trade unions.

Flaying the NDA government for its “obsession for ensuring ease of doing business unmindful of its grievous consequences on the workers' rights and service conditions”, he said “by no stretch of imagination, the apparel manufacturing sector can be considered as one of seasonal nature, anywhere in the world.”

He alleged that the move was “designed to gradually replace the regular workforce in industries by temporary workers, totally deprived of all rights.”

​BMS General Secretary Virijesh Upadhyay said: "This is not in favour of either the employer or the employee. We are opposed to such amendments, which adversely impacts the workers.”

Published on October 08, 2016
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