Examine the key features of the new Labour Code bills passed recently by parliament of India.

Parliament has recently passed the three labour code bills – the Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020; and the Code on Social Security, 2020, merging 24 central labour laws in a major boost to labour reforms. The new labour laws are meant to make doing business easier in India. Following are the important features of the new Labour Codes –

  • The Government has allowed companies with up to 300 workers to fire workers or shut plants without the prior approval of the government.
  • New conditions imposed on the right of workers to go on strike. Prior 60 day’s notice is required from Unions. Earlier, workers could go on strike by giving between two weeks and six weeks of notice. Flash strikes are now outlawed.
  • The code empowers a state government to exempt any new factory from the provisions of the Code to create more economic activity and jobs,
  • Women will be entitled to be employed in all establishments for all types of work and in case they are required to work in hazardous or dangerous operations, the government may require the employer to have adequate safeguards in place prior to employment.
  • The maximum daily work limit is fixed at eight hours a day.
  • Universal social security for workers, including for both organised and informal workers as well as gig and platform workers.
  • The government shall formulate and notify, from time to time, suitable welfare schemes, including schemes relating to provident fund, employment injury benefit, housing, educational schemes for children, skill upgradation of workers and old age homes.

The demand for new labour laws was pending for a long time and with these new labour codes from 3 important laws, will go to a great extent in reforming the labour rights as well as providing positive thrust to industries.

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