“Let the comments come,” labour secretary Apurva Chandra said when asked whether the government will pay heed to suggestions that some activity under the manufacturing sector should also be given flexibility to work from home.
The government seems open to the idea of extending the work-from-home (WFH) facility to the manufacturing sector as well, but a final decision will be taken after assessing stakeholders’ suggestions. The move is part of setting standard for service conditions and employees’ conduct in a manufacturing establishment.
“Let the comments come,” labour secretary Apurva Chandra said when asked whether the government will pay heed to suggestions that some activity under the manufacturing sector should also be given flexibility to work from home. Model standing orders are applicable in organisations having 300 or more workers.
Releasing the draft model standing orders for services, manufacturing and mining sectors simultaneously on December 31, the labour ministry proposed to formalise the WFH facility for the services sector alone, but left the manufacturing and mining sectors outside the ambit of the concept for now. Comments are to be submitted by January 31.
“Subject to conditions of appointment or agreement between employer and workers, employer may allow a worker to work from home for such period or periods as may be determined by the employer,” the labour ministry said in the draft model standing orders for the services sector.
Rajiv Kapoor, member, CII national committee on industrial relations, talking to FE earlier said that manufacturing should also be given the WFH facility since with the advent of digitisation and technology, lot of jobs, including design and other office works, in the manufacturing sector can now also be done from home.
Along with labour expert KR Shyam Sundar, he also, however, said that individual organisation should have the discretion of allowing the WFH facility to its employees.
For the manufacturing sector, the standing order governing work conditions was applicable in organisations having 100 or more workers until last year. The threshold has been increased to 300 workers in the labour code on industrial relations approved in Parliament late last year.