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Labour code rules to be finalised by month-end

The Labour Ministry had earlier set a deadline of April 1 for implementation of the four labour codes. The Ministry is in the final leg of amalgamating the central labour laws into four broad codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and OSH.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | January 13, 2021 3:44:41 am
The code on wages was approved by Parliament in 2019 and rules too were finalised. But the ministry held back its implementation because it wanted to enforce all the four codes in one go.

Rules for labour codes on industrial relations, social security and occupational safety health & working conditions (OSH) are likely to be finalised by month-end, which may result in implementation of the four labour codes before April 1.

The Labour Ministry had earlier set a deadline of April 1 for implementation of the four labour codes. The Ministry is in the final leg of amalgamating the central labour laws into four broad codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and OSH.

“We will be ready with rules under three codes on industrial relations, social security and OSH by month-end. The four codes could be implemented on notification of rules under the four codes,” Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra told reporters.

The Ministry had circulated rules under the codes, except for the wage code, in November last year for feedback of the stakeholders after getting the Parliament nod in the Monsoon session last year.

The code on wages was approved by Parliament in 2019 and rules too were finalised. But the ministry held back its implementation because it wanted to enforce all the four codes in one go.

Chandra also said the ministry would soon appoint legal consultants to study state labour laws so that those are commensurate with the central legislations. Labour is a concurrent subject on which the Centre as well as States can make laws. Chandra was of the view that state labour laws should be in consonance with the central ones.

He also said the draft model standing orders for the manufacturing, mining and service sectors would also be finalised by next month. These draft orders which would set standards for service conditions and employees’ conduct in the said sectors were notified on December 31 for seeking feedback within 30 days (from the date of notification).

Separately, at a meeting of Labour Ministry officials with the industry representatives regarding OSH and social security code rules, the Confederation of Indian Industry asked for flexibility to employers to spread the 48-hour weekly working limit and recommended exclusion of allowances such as contractual bonus, performance-linked bonus, joining bonus, employee referrals from the allowances that are part of the wages. It asked for the formula for gratuity calculation to be implemented prospectively and also suggested that time period of previous employment should not be considered for the current employer when deciding the time frame for payment of journey allowance to inter-state migrant workmen on completion of 180 days with an employer.

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