1. Wait for labour reforms may get longer

Wait for labour reforms may get longer

As Parliament session draws to a close, law min yet to vet proposals for Cabinet nod

By: | New Delhi | Updated: December 9, 2015 1:21 AM

With barely 10-11 sittings left for the current session of Parliament, the industry’s wait for “better days” on the labour front might get longer as the principal reform proposals that allow establishments employing up to 300 workers, from 100 now, to lay off without government approval, are yet to be vetted by the law ministry to be placed before the Cabinet.

Following the nod of the government’s highest decision-making body, the Bills could be tabled in Parliament for passage and consideration.

Labour and employment ministry sources told FE that apart from the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015 that was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, only the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Bill could be taken up for discussion and passage in the current session. The bonus Bill seeks to enhance pay eligibility limit of an employee for bonus to Rs 21,000 per month from Rs 10,000, and enhance the monthly bonus calculation ceiling to Rs 7,000 per month from the existing Rs 3,500 a month.

In what was tipped to be the biggest labour reforms since Independence, the government has embarked on overhauling the 44 extant Acts into four codes, in sync with the Narendra Modi government’s objective of making India a global manufacturing hub. The labour ministry has prepared final draft for code on wages and code on industrial relations.

While the draft code on wages empowers the states to fix minimum wages and makes national minimum wages mandatory, the draft code on industrial relations also makes it tougher to form trade unions, and prohibits politicians from becoming union leaders in organised sector establishments.

Ahead of the session, labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya had said that his ministry plans to table as many as nine Bills for amendments in the currents session that also includes the Bill for the Employees’ Provident Fund the & Miscellaneous Provisions Bill, and the Building and Other Construction Workers Related Laws Amendment Bill.

Meanwhile on Monday, Dattatreya said in the Lok Sabha that the proposed reforms would protect the rights of the workers, and any changes in the law will be made in consultation with stake holders.

Delay
* The principal reform proposals that allow establishments employing up to 300 workers, from 100 now, to lay off without government approval, are yet to be vetted by the law ministry to be placed before the Cabinet
* Labour and employment ministry sources say apart from the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015 that was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, only the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Bill could be taken up for discussion and passage in the current session

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