New Delhi: Kicking off labour reforms to enhance the ease of doing business, the government on Tuesday introduced two major bills in the Lok Sabha. Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar introduced the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH) Bill 2019 and the Code on Wages Bill 2019. The two bills would subsume 17 laws.
The bills will cover the safety, working conditions and wages of workers and promote the ease of living and doing business, the minister said.
In the OSH Bill, the Code simplifies, amalgamates and rationalises the provisions of 13 central labour laws into a concise volume. It would apply to all establishments having 10 or more workers, other than those relating to mines and docks.
The Code makes it mandatory for the employer to provide free of cost annual health checks-up for employees and also issue appointment letter to every employee.
The bill provides the concept of one registration for all establishments having 10 or more employees and constitution of a National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board to give recommendations at central and state levels.
The multiple committees under five labour Acts have been substituted by one National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board, which will have representation from trade unions, employer associations and state governments.
The proposed Code has envisaged uniform threshold for welfare provisions-- like creche, canteen etc---for all establishments. It allows the women employees to work at night, subject to their consent.
The Code on Wages universalises the provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to employees irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling. At present, the provisions of both Minimum Wages Act and Payment of Wages Act apply on workers below a certain wage ceiling working in scheduled employments only.
The Code on Wages Bill 2019 would ensure Right to Sustenance for every worker. Under the bill, the introduction of statutory floor wage will be computed based on minimum living conditions.
The limitation period for filing claims for minimum wages, bonus and equal remuneration has been raised to three years....