Labour Secretary Sunil Barthwal on Tuesday stressed the need to improve women participation and also assured the implementation of labour codes soon.
“Sunil Barthwal, secretary (labour and employment), Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt of India today (on Tuesday) emphasised that the government has tried to make the new labour codes as much contemporary as possible and tried to ensure the contemporariness of the world we are living,” industry body FICCI said in a statement.
The government took various measures to improve women’s participation in the workforce, he stated.
He was addressing the virtual ’87th Annual General Meeting of AIOE (All India Organization of Employers)’ on the theme ‘Impact of New Labour Codes on Sustainable and Equitable Growth’.
Barthwal also said, “Unless women participation improves, the contribution to GDP (gross domestic product) from woman workers will not be to the extent, we want this economy to grow. We have looked at the labour codes from various viewpoints, including employers, workers, women and youth, and it is a good amalgamation of different point of views.” He added that when “we look at the future of work, then we will have to look at different employment models and how we can do justice to all models”.
Barthwal stated that the government is pursuing with the states because this law is the concurrent list of the constitution and rules have to be formed both at the central and state levels.
“We, at the central government level, have pre-published the rules and are ready and as soon as the majority of the state government frame their rules then we will be ready to implement the Code,” he added.
The labour secretary also said more and more states are coming up in terms of notification and finalisation of rules.
“We have to be fast as everybody is eagerly waiting for these rules to see the light of the day,” he said.
Speaking on the new codes, Barthwal stated that the two guiding principles on which the rules have been designed include ease of living for the workers and ease of doing business for employers.
A big inclusion, he highlighted, in the labour code was the inclusion of the gig and platform workers.
“India is among the three largest platform economies,” he added.
Barthwal further stated that these changes are important, and the government wanted the whole labour code to be inclusive.
Highlighting the importance of social security funding, which was available to organised workers, Barthwal said the government is now extending it to unorganised workers as well.
“In the e-Shram portal, we will be registering around 380 million and almost 150 million workers have already registered on the portal. We have also created a fund which will be coming out of the compounding of offences which will be addressing the issues of unorganised workers,” he noted.
Dagmar Walter, Director ILO, DWT for South Asia and country office of India, said the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a four-pillar policy in tackling the impact of COVID-19 for its members.
“These socio-economic impacts of the crisis include stimulating the economy and employment, supporting the enterprises jobs and income, protecting workers in the workplace and relying on a social dialogue for solutions.
“The future is going to rely on collaborations and social dialogues, and this will lead the way to reach better outcomes,” she added.
All India Organisation of Employers President Shishir Jaipuria said the government’s proactive measures have built trust and transparency and simplified complex and antiquated laws which were detrimental to growth.
“We will be actively engaging with the states to come out with rules that are transparent, simple and in the mutual interest of the employers and employees,” he added.