The Ministry of Labour and Employment has taken important initiatives during the year 2018, to realize and establish the dignity of every worker through provision of social security, enhancing the avenues and quality of employment. Below are Labour law reforms done in 2018.
In line with recommendations of Second National Commission on Labour, the Ministry has taken steps for formulating of four Labour Codes on (i) Wages; (ii) Industrial Relations; (iii) Social Security & Welfare; and (iv) Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions by amalgamating, simplifying, and rationalizing the relevant provisions of the existing Central Labour Laws.
1- Code on Wages Bill:
The Draft Code on Wages Bill, 2017 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha on 10.08.2017 and is being examined by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour. The report of the Standing Committee is being awaited.
2- Code on Industrial Relations:
To introduce the proposal of Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2018 in the Parliament, draft Note for the Cabinet along with the Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2018 was circulated on 08.02.2018 for Inter-Ministerial consultation for seeking views/comments thereon. After examining the received comments of Ministries/Departments, the draft Code on Industrial Relations has been suitably modified. After vetting the Code by Legislative Department, Ministry of Law & Justice, the draft Cabinet Note alongwith the Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2018 has been sent to Cabinet Secretariat on 05.11.2018 for consideration.
3- Code on Social Security & Welfare:
A preliminary draft of the Code on Social Security & Welfare was placed on the website of the Ministry on 16.03.2017, inviting comments of the stakeholders / public. After considering the comments of various stakeholders, a revised draft namely draft Code on Social Security and Welfare, 2018 was uploaded on the website of this Ministry on 01.03.2018 seeking suggestions/comments from stakeholders/public. A Tripartite Consultation Meeting to discuss the Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare Bill, 2018 has been held on 27.11.2018 with Central Trade Union Organizations, the Employer’ Associations and the State Governments/UTs under Chairmanship of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment. The draft Note for the Cabinet along with the Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare Bill, 2018 has also been circulated recently for Inter-Ministerial consultation.
4- Code on Occupational Safety Health & Working Conditions:
Preliminary draft of the Code on Occupational Safety Health & Working Conditions was prepared and placed on the website of the Ministry on 23.03.2018 for inviting comments/suggestions of the stakeholders including general public. A Tripartite Consultation Meeting was held on 22.11.2018 with Central Trade Union Organizations, the Employer’ Associations and the State Governments/UTs under Chairmanship of Minister of State (Independent Charge), Labour and Employment to discuss the draft Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Bill, 2018. The draft Cabinet Note alongwith the draft Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Bill, 2018 has been circulated for Inter-Ministerial consultation recently.
Shram Suvidha Portal:
The Ministry of Labour & Employment has developed a unified Web Portal ‘Shram Suvidha Portal’, to bring transparency and accountability in enforcement of labour laws and ease complexity of compliance.
Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 which came into force from 1st April 2017:
It had Increased paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks and has benefited 18 Lakh women employees.Recently Government proposed to bear 7 weeks of salary to motivate employers. This policy will be finalised after approval by the competent forum.
The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2018
This was passed by Lok Sabha on 15th March, 2018 and by the Rajya Sabha on 22nd March, 2018, has been brought in force on 29th March, 2018. The present upper ceiling on gratuity amount under the Act has been raised from Rs. 10 Lakh, to Rs. 20 Lakhs.