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Dec 06, 2019, 09.05 AM IST

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DRAFT LABOUR CODE

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  • Commerce and Industry minister Piyush Goyal informed Rajya Sabha that the government would soon bring the tax refund scheme for exporters before the Union Cabinet and would notify it. He further added that the govt is also engaged in codifying various laws relating to labour into a far more crisper, well defined, easy to navigate & understand set of labour codes.

    The labour department has prepared a set of draft rules which is being vetted by National Law School of India University (NLSIU) professors Babu Mathew and V Nagaraj. The department will take their inputs before taking a call on how to go about the exercise.

    The Union cabinet approved the Industrial Relations Code, 2019 that proposes to retain the threshold of 100 employees to impart flexibility to firms for retrenchment, but it has a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification. Trade unions across the country resent the Code and plan to launch a nationwide agitation.

    “The number of hours which shall constitute a normal working day… shall be of nine hours,” said the draft rules, floated for public opinion.

    The labour code on Industrial Relations 2019, cleared by the cabinet last week, also says that fixed-term employees will get all statutory benefits like social security, wages, etc. on par with the regular employees who are doing work of same or similar nature. The Bill is expected to be introduced in parliament on Wednesday.

    The current changes are part of a process to streamline 44 different federal labor laws into four codes.

    ​ "There should be a pan-India single wage day every month across various sectors to ensure that workers get timely payment of salaries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen on this legislation to get passed soon. Similarly, we are also looking at uniform minimum wages across sectors which will safeguard better livelihood of workers," he said.

    The ministry’s proposal to corporatise the EPFO had faced severe criticism. In its latest draft code released in September, it had proposed a corporate structure to be headed by a CEO.

    The newly crafted draft proposed changes in the original 2011 code. It included the barring of ministers, members of parliament and legislative assemblies from holding office in National Sports Federation and IOA.

    The code aims to regulate the employment of workers, including those engaged by contractors, and their working conditions across sectors. It envisages setting up a National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board to advise the government on the standards, rules and regulations on worker safety, besides overseeing implementation.

    Fixed-term employment, which the govt had allowed for all sectors last year, has now been codified.

    CII has suggested government set up common facilities for establishments in a locality to avail on cost basis. Besides, it has suggested labour ministry revisit the penalties proposed for contraventions so that the focus is on compliance and deterrence. The industry body has sent its recommendations to the standing committee on labour.

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