New Labour Codes: May Take Effect In Current Fiscal Itself

The Union labour ministry is eyeing early implementation of new labour codes, by finalising the rules thereunder. Soon after getting the codes passed in Parliament, the ministry had in October said that it intended to implement the rules under the three codes – on industrial relations, social security and occupational safety & health – from the beginning of the next financial year.

“That was the outer limit. Rules may be implemented even before that,” labour secretary Apurva Chandra told FE.

The secretary said draft rules under the social security code and operational safety & health code will be notified in the next 10-15 days’ time and will be put up in the public domain for comments for 45 days and then final rules will be prepared.

Draft rules under the industrial relations code have already been notified, so as the rules under the code on wages, which unversalises minimum wages. Labour code on wages was passed in November last year.

The labour ministry intends to implement rules all four codes at one go.

The IR code will consolidate and amend the laws relating to trade unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishments and matters governing industrial disputes; the OSH Code consolidates and amends the laws pertaining to occupational safety, health and working conditions of the persons employed in an establishment.

The social security code provides for social security benefits to workers in the unorganised sectors who form a significant part of the workforce but are not covered by any of the existing welfare schemes.

Chandra has already written to the chief secretaries of all states advising them to draft the rules, under the codes, that belong to their domain soon so that the rules can be implemented early.

Twenty-nine central labour Acts, one of which dated back to 1923, have been subsumed into four codes, with the aim of simplifying the laws and ensuring higher productivity and generation of decent employment.

The government is of the view that the labour Codes will establish transparent, answerable and simple mechanism reducing to one registration, one license and one return for all codes.

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