New Delhi terms apprehension about Labour Codes misfounded

The Indian ministry of labour and employment recently issued a clarification allaying fears about the reforms bills known as Labour Codes passed by parliament a few days ago. Terming the criticisms ‘misfounded’, it said the Economic Survey 2019 had analysed the pain of ‘dwarfism’—existing for more than 10 years with stunted growth in terms of employment—in Indian firms.

On raising employee limit of smaller units for closure to 300, the ministry said there has been no empirical evidence to suggest that higher threshold promotes hire and fire.

Further, the Industrial Relations (IR) Code envisages an additional monetary benefit equivalent to 15 days of wages under newly created Reskilling Fund, according to a press release from the ministry.

Refuting rumours that fixed term employment introduces hire and fire, the ministry said fixed term employment has already been notified by the central government and 14 other states. Non-availability of fixed-term employment implied that an employer had options to either employ on regular basis or through contractual basis, which means higher transaction cost to employer, lack of permanence of contract labour, and untrained, unskilled contract labour. The ministry emphasised that fixed term employment is pro-worker.

A statutory provision for helpline for migrant workers has also been made. The migrant workers will also be able to enjoy the benefits of portability in respect of ration and avail benefits from building and other construction cess. They will also get all other benefits, the ministry said.

On the criticism over provision for allowing night shifts for women, the ministry said the occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Code entitles gender equality in the new India. However, sufficient safeguards for employing women at night have been provided and the consent of women for employing them at night has been made mandatory. New welfare provisions have also been introduced in the OSH Code.

The position of trade unions has been strengthened by introducing a decentralised registration process, the ministry added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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