Extend employment guarantee to 200 days, recommends ILC

Extend employment guarantee to 200 days, recommends ILC

The conference, however, saw some differences on the issue of contract labour with some states demanding regularising contract labourers and employers group objecting to it. The 43rd edition of the conference deliberated on three key issues -- employment generation and skill development, the global financial crisis and its impact on job losses and the problems of contract labour.

Sources said barring issues related to contract labour, the conference -- a tripartite body comprising representatives from workers, employers and government  -- unanimously adopted the recommendations on the concluding day.

Among the recommendations were strict implementation of labour laws in case of lay-offs, retrenchment, job losses, closure etc and devising a broad-based social security and unemployment insurance programme. Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said the recommendations adopted would be studied and analysed in detail by his Ministry and discussed at various levels before a Cabinet note is prepared.

Extension of public distribution system to unorganised sector workers and a comprehensive package for workers who lost jobs due to recession were also adopted. One of the committees which went into the issue of employment generation and skill development as part of the deliberation process in the conference said "the provisions to increase work days from 100 to 200 under MGNREGA will provide more sustainability to employment being generated under the programme in rural areas".

On contract labour, the conference unanimously recommended that the existing provisions of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 are implemented in letter and spirit. The workers group as well as the trade unions, who have been vocal on the issue of exploitation of contract labour, suggested that in the event of the abolition of contract labour under section 10 (2) of the Act, the workers should be regularised.

"This was agreed to by the state governments but was disagreed by the employers group," sources said.

While taking note of the report of a tripartite group set up in the last session to suggest amendments to the Contract Labour Act, the conference also observed that a number of states do not have tripartite state advisory boards as mandated under the Act.

The conference resolved that such states should be asked to constitute such boards at the earliest. The conference also agreed that payment to contract workers should be made through banks.

It also adopted a proposal that some of the existing rules which treat contract workers on par with workman directly appointed by principal employer in matters of wage rates, holidays, hours of work be incorporated in the principal Act.

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