Govt announced labour codes and detailing of its benefits

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FM Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference: On the second day, FM Sitharaman said the announcements will be made in tranches. Today’s second tranche of announcements focused on migrant workers, street vendors, small traders, self-employed people, small farmers.

While announcing economic package FM Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted labour codes, detailing the benefits to labourers, and she said, Govt aims to make minimum wage universal, remove disparity of minimum wage, and compulsory appointment letter.

She said, “the government is looking at universalisation of the right of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all workers including unorganised workers, presently minimum wages applicable to only 30 percent of workers.”

FM Sitharaman said, we are looking at re-skilling of workers who have lost their jobs, and social security scheme for gig workers. All occupations should be open for women, with provision for night working rights and adequate safeguards.

FM Sitharaman stated, “We are committed to making it better for the workers and the worker is top on our agenda.”

According to the Finance Minister, the benefits for labourers under the newly formed labour codes are:

  • Universalisation of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all workers, including unorganised workers.
  • There should be a statutory concept of National Floor Wage which will reduce regional disparity in minimum wages. “We will engage with all states for the same.” This is to reduce disparity in wages across the States.
  • Appointment letters for all workers should be given. “This is to bring them into the organised sector.”
  • Annual health check-ups, and application of OSH code to establishments involved in hazardous work even with less than 10 workers.
  • The definition of inter-state migrant workers will be modified to include migrant workers employed directly by the employer, workers directly coming to the destination state of their own (besides the migrant workers employed through a contractor).
  • The provision of gratuity should be made on completion of one year service as against 5 years.
  • Expanding ESIC coverage to pan-India, and making ESIC coverage mandatory for hazardous industries with less than 10 workers.
  • Social security will be extended to gig workers and platform workers.
  • Re-skilling fund introduced for retrenched employees. So, that the people who lost jobs get employed,”

She has hinted, the government is looking at reducing 44 labour laws into four codes. “We hope to pass it after it is passed by all the standing committees.” FM Nirmala Sitharaman said.

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