Industrial Code Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

The Bill, which was introduced by Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar amid vehement opposition by the Congress and other parties, is part of the government's initiative to reform labour laws by amalgamating 44 legislations related to labourers into four codes.

The Industrial Relations Code Bill 2019, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, seeks to prohibit strikes and lockouts in any industrial establishment without giving notice of 14 days.

The Bill, which was introduced by Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar amid vehement opposition by the Congress and other parties, is part of the government's initiative to reform labour laws by amalgamating 44 legislations related to labourers into four codes.

The labour ministry claimed that the Code had been prepared after wide consultations with trade union representatives, employers' organizations and state governments".

But contrary to the claims of the opposition parties that the bill is against the interest of labourers and it rather aims to consolidate and amend the laws relating to trade unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishment or undertaking, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes, the ministry said.

The Opposition parties demanded that the bill be referred to the parliamentary standing committee on labour.

The Code on Industrial Relations amalgamates, simplifies and rationalises the relevant provisions of three Central Labour Acts namely Trade Unions Act, 1926; Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 and Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

It also makes provisions for a two-member industrial tribunal, with the second member being from the administrative side, in place of single-member labour court and industrial tribunal at present.

The draft Bill also aims to impart flexibility to the exit provisions (relating to retrenchment etc), for which, the threshold for prior approval of the government has been kept unchanged at 100 employees, but added a provision for changing 'such number of employees' through notification.

Under the Bill, the definition of a strike is proposed to be modified to include mass casual leave within its ambit.

It defines the expression 'fixed-term employment' to mean engagement of a worker on the basis of a written contract of employment for a fixed period. The fixed-term employee will get all statutory benefits like social security, wages, etc, at par with the regular employee who is doing work of same or similar nature.

The definition of "worker" under the bill includes persons in supervisory capacity getting wages up to Rs 15,000 per month within its ambit instead of the current Rs 10,000.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)