The Ministry of Labour and Employment has finalised rules under the four labour codes. The one on Wages was passed by Parliament in 2019 while the three other codes got clearance from both the Houses in 2020. So now all the four codes are ready to be notified at one go and is expected any time soon.
Mr. Himanshu Srivastava Director- ASA Corporate Catalyst India spoke at a webinar on labour laws organised by World Trade Center Kochi. Mr. Srivastava introduced the four codes- on Wages, the Industrial Relations Code, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code and the Code on Social Security. ASA & Partners were the Knowledge Partner for this event.
Mr. Srivastava explained the new definition of wages and how the Central Government has allowed States to fix floor rates for skilled and unskilled labour. Structuring of bonus, payment of dues and claims were also discussed. He warned the participants about the consequences of non-compliance. According to him the key impact of the new codes is that all compliances will be monitored by a new officer names Inspector cum Facilitator (ICF) and explained the responsibilities of this new post.
OSH code has been derived from 13 sub codes and has holistically covered all aspects of health and safety. He remarked that private companies will be largely bound by State laws. The need for proper documentation was highlighted. Contract labour can be employed in all jobs except core activities and he went on to differentiate between core and non-core activities. Responsibility of employers especially in Covid scenario, new work rules, gratuity laws, leaves especially for maternity were explained.
On industrial relations, the speaker said that the objective of this legislation is to create peace and harmony between employer and employee. Dispute resolution process was elaborated. Specific scenarios like strike, lock out, retrenchment and closure were also discussed.
Mr. Srivastava remarked that the role of HR department is even more critical in the new scenario. Case studies and scenarios were presented which helped the audience to relate to the situations. The session witnessed active participation from corporates across the country. Several practical queries and ambiguities on the new codes were raised at the program to which the speaker provided his clarifications.