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Labour Codes implementation to be delayed further

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 31, 2021

Ongoing elections to five States, opposition from trade unions and delay in framing rules by States are cited as the reasons

The notification on the Rules of Labour Codes and their implementation will not happen from Thursday (April 1) onwards as it was being expected. A number of reasons such as the ongoing elections to five States, opposition from trade unions and delay in framing rules by States are being given for the delay.

A source in the Labour Ministry said the delay was expected but did not give specific reasons for it. However, sources in the ruling party BJP confirmed that elections is one reason for the delay. “Only the notification was pending. So it cannot be termed as a deferment. There are political reasons such as the ongoing elections for the delay,” a leader said.

The trade unions have also been opposing the rules stating that they are against the interests of the workers. Opposition trade unions did not participate in the discussions on the draft rules of the codes. They have been maintaining that the Codes were passed in Parliament without proper debates and holding discussion on rules was a farce.

RSS-led trade union, BMS, had participated in the discussions and gave points of objection on the rules. The BJP does not want a discussion on the codes during the elections as it may give an edge to the Opposition in the five States helping them to consolidate the votes of workers in several sectors such as plantation and MSMEs.

Industry survey

The employers had welcomed the codes. Recently, Grant Thornton Bharat’s Industry Expectation Survey said 50 per cent companies in India are confident about their readiness to implement the new labour codes. 43 per cent organisations have started internal reviews. 13 per cent are waiting for the final announcement on implementation date, the survey said.

“While 20 per cent firms have onboarded external consultants for better preparedness, 20 per cent have not decided their implementation strategies yet. 85 per cent respondents agreed that a minimum transition period of up to six months be allowed to implement various obligations and compliances applicable under new labour codes,” the report said.

54 per cent participants thought the new labour codes will achieve the objective of widening social security coverage to the unorganised sector while 29 per cent disagreed. “Nearly 55 per cent respondents support the view that people with fixed minimum wage rate should be entitled to overtime payment; 29 per cent say this entitlement should be reserved for people in non-managerial roles,” it said.

Published on March 31, 2021

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