Lok Sabha takes up three labour Codes amid boycott by Opposition


Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said the government has come out with the changes in the legislations after extensive consultations with State governments and other stakeholders.

The labour reforms that are being undertaken by the government will prove to be a milestone for the welfare of workers, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Lok Sabha took up three Bills on the labour Code, which were moved by Mr. Gangwar, amid boycott of House proceedings by several Opposition parties, including the Congress, in protest against the suspension of eight Rajya Sabha members.

While moving the Bills for consideration and passage, the Minister said the government has come out with the changes in the legislations after extensive consultations with State governments and other stakeholders.

Also read | Dilution without adequate deliberation: On labour laws

He said about three-fourth of the recommendations of the Standing Committee, which scrutinised the Codes, have been incorporated in the Bills by the government.

On Saturday, Mr. Gangwar had introduced the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, and the Code on Social Security, 2020. Over 29 labour laws have been merged into four codes and one (Code on Wages Bill, 2019) of them has already been passed, according to the Minister.

Also read | Labour rights are in free fall

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, will consolidate and amend the laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions of persons employed in an establishment and related matters.

The Industrial Relations Code, 2020, seeks to consolidate and amend the laws relating to trade unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishments or undertaking, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes.

The Code on Social Security, 2020, will amend and consolidate laws relating to social security with the goal to extend social security to all employees and workers either in the organised sector or the unorganised sector.

Also read | Why is it necessary to fix a minimum wage?

Mr. Gangwar said efforts have been made to work out a balance between welfare of workers and ease of doing business for the industry. Starting the debate on the three Bills, Pallab Lochan Das of the BJP said that it is for the first time that such extensive labour reforms are being undertaken.

โ€œAlthough the country has 44 labour laws for the past several decades, the standard of living of workers has not improved,โ€ he said.

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