Social Security Scheme For Contractual Labour Soon

New Delhi, Nov 5: | Updated: Nov 6 2003, 05:30am hrs
Labour minister Sahib Singh Verma will soon introduce a social security proposal in Parliament for contractual employment.

We will bring the proposal in the winter session of Parliament, he said here on Wednesday. He was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar, Employee Relations in Service Sector, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Competitiveness of India.

Sahib Proposes Fixed-term System
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New Delhi, Nov 5: As part of the governments agenda to usher in labour reforms, Union labour minister Sahib Singh Verma said that the introduction of fixed-term contractual employment in place of permanent jobs would generate more jobs as well as more revenue for employers in the long run. He said that the time period for employment could be anything between six months to ten years, at a conference on employee relations in the services sector organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Mr Verma said that under the fixed-term contractual employment, employees wages, allowances and other benefits would be at par with that of permanent employees. He added that the employee would also be entitled to all statutory benefits like provident fund and gratuity available to permanent employees.

Contractual labour is different from contract labour. While contract labour is engaged through an intermediary, the contractor, contractual labour is directly between the employer and the employee.

There is little social security available to people engaged under contractual employment. We want to provide some kind of security to such people, the minister said. He, however, did not divulge the details or modalities of the proposal. Importantly, he need not seek Cabinet approval for this proposal and can directly go to Parliament.

This is unlike in the case of amendment to the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970, for which Cabinet clearance is necessary. This amendment, which is seen as a step in the direction of labour reforms, may be introduced in the winter session, Mr Singh said.

One of the major provisions of the amendment to the 1970 legislation is to change its thrust which, after amendment, would be on regulation of contract labour rather than its abolition. Many activities such as sweeping, cleaning, dusting, security services, gardening, maintenance of equipment, running of canteen services, loading and unloading would not be prohibited once the amendment is cleared by Parliament. In fact, the amendment intends to delink the contract workman from the principle employer. As per the amendment, the workman would be employed on contract labour through a contractor, with or without the knowledge of the principal employer.

In yet another liberalising provision, the amendment intends to do away with the licensing.