New Labour Code: Govt To Set Up Three National Boards To Determine Minimum Wages And Social Security Parameters


NEW DELHI: The government will soon set up three national boards to determine the minimum wages, social security parameters, and safety and health standards for workers under the new labour codes. The move is aimed at ensuring a smooth rollout of the four labour codes from the next financial year.

Advisory boards will be set up for minimum wages under the Code on Wages, for occupational safety, health and working conditions under the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions, and under the Code on Social Security. The government is of the view that these bodies need to be constituted first as they are responsible for determining key elements of the codes, a top official told ET.

“We are legally vetting if it is possible,” the official said, citing the prior need for the advisory board to determine a national level minimum wage. Experts have said it is imperative for the government to set up these boards, especially for minimum wages. “Industry is keenly waiting for the statutory national floor level minimum wage to work out the financial implications on their balance sheets for the next financial year. However, they can be formed only once the rules are notified,” said KR Shyam Sundar, a professor at XLRI. However, Sundar said the government may want to delay the statutory national floor level minimum wage.

“The balance sheets are already under stress due to the pandemic. Any increase in statutory minimum wages would further add to the operational cost,” he added. As per the Code on Wages, the central advisory board will set or revise minimum wages and other connected matters and provide greater employment opportunities for women, besides other code-related matters.

The national social security board will recommend to the Centre suitable social security schemes for different sections of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers, monitoring of social security schemes and reviewing expenditure on such schemes along with other administrative functions. The national occupational safety and health advisory board will advise the Centre on the standards, rules and regulations framed under this code and implementation of these standards and other policy-related matters.

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