On Wednesday, September 23, three key labour law bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha. These include the Social Security Bill 2020, the Livelihood Security, Health and Work Conditions Code Bill 2020, and the Code of Industrial Relations Bill 2020. Analysts say the law aims to protect workers and simplify complex regulations. But rights activists aim to exempt thousands of small factories and prevent workers from the strike and other benefit rights. The change in industrial law will be intended to allow factories and companies with 300 employees to hire and withdraw employees without any government approval. At present, factories or companies with less than 100 employees did not have to seek government approval before retrenchment or unit closure.
Nearly 90 percent of workers in India work in the unorganized sector. They don't get job security, get less salary, and get a very low or no-equal benefit. Millions of workers have been rendered jobless due to The Covid-19 and had to go home on foot during the lockdown. The new labour law has been worked out for years and has been passed by Parliament. Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, while introducing the bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, termed it as "historic" and said it would be a "milestone in labour welfare." "After 73 years of the country's independence, complex labour laws will be replaced by law with simpler, more effective, and transparent laws," Gangwar said.
"The labour code will protect workers' rights and will help industries run smoothly," Gangwar added. There will be no need for registration and licensing in different places to run businesses." There were 44 labour laws in the country, which have now been included in four labor codes. The inclusion of labour laws in the labour code started in 2014. The wage-linked labour code has been passed by Parliament last year and had the legal right to receive minimum wages and timely salaries.
Analysts say the new reforms will further increase the number of workers working in the country's unsecured sector. "The new laws are largely tilted towards business," says Labour economist Kr Shyamsundar. Trade unions fear that workers' rights will be lost in the profitable affairs.
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