Labour Codes: Free Medical Check-up, 4-Day Work Week Among Draft Rules


The proposed labour codes could provide companies with the flexibility of four working days in a week, even as the working hours limit of 48 hours for a week will remain sacrosanct, Labour and Employment Secretary Apurva Chandra said on Monday. The Ministry of Labour and Employment is also likely to complete the process to finalise the rules for four labour codes soon.

A simultaneous exercise of consultations with states has also taken place, with states/UT of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and J&K also expected to formulate their draft rules for state-level labour codes within a week, he said. The government also proposes to provide free medical check-ups to workers through the Employees State Insurance Corporation, Chandra added.

“It (working days) could come down below five. If it is four, then you have to provide three paid holidays…so if it has to be a seven day week, then it has to be divided into 4 or 5 or 6 working days,” Chandra said. He said the 48-hour weekly working hours limit will remain. “It is sacrosanct,” he said. The Ministry is also progressing to roll out a web portal by June 2021 for registration and other facilities of workers in the unorganised sector, including gig and platform workers and migrant workers.

“Rule making process is already underway and likely to complete in the coming week. All stakeholders are also consulted in framing of rules. This ministry would soon be in a position to bring into force the four Codes, viz., Code on Wages, Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH) and Social Security Codes,” Chandra said in a media briefing.

The Labour Ministry had envisaged implementing the four labour codes from April 1 this year in one go. The ministry is in the final leg of amalgamating 44 central labour laws into four broad codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and OSH.

The work on setting up of the portal for informal workers by this Ministry is progressing as per the schedule, said Chandra.

Chandra said the portal will be rolled out by May or June 2021 for registration and other facilities of workers in the unorganised sector, including gig and platform workers and migrant workers. The enrolled workers on the portal will be provided with an incentive of free coverage for a period of one year for accidental and disability cover under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bhima Yojana.

The Labour Bureau has also started work on four new surveys for Migrant workers, Domestic workers, Employment generated by Professionals and Transport Sector. The Bureau will also commission ‘All India Establishment based Employment Survey ‘.

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