Amendments in Labour Laws as part of Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat COVID-19 Relief Package

Amendments in Labour Laws as part of Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat COVID-19 Relief Package

Finance Minister today held second Press conference announcing details of Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat 20 lakh crores package.

The initiatives announced today included a total of 9 measures, namely:

a. 3 related to Migrant workers
b. 1 related to Street vendors
c. Small traders
d. Self-employed people
e. 2 on Small farmers
f. 1 on housing

Salient features of the announcements related to amendments in labour laws were as under:

Labour Codes – Benefits for Workers

1. Universalization of right of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all workers including unorganized workers -presently minimum wages applicable to only 30% of workers.

2. Statutory concept of National Floor Wage introduced. This is expected to reduce regional disparity in minimum wages.

3. Fixation of minimum wages simplified, leading to less number of rates of minimum wages and better compliance.

4. Appointment letter for all workers to promote formalization.

5. Annual Health Check-up for employees.

6. Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Code also applicable to establishments engaged in work of hazardous nature even with threshold of less than 10 workers.

7. Definition of inter-state migrant worker modified to include migrant workers employed directly by the employer, workers directly coming to destination State of their own besides the migrant workers employed through a contractor.

8. Portability of welfare benefits for migrant workers.

9. Extension of ESIC coverage pan-India to all districts and all establishments employing 10 or more employees as against those in notified districts/areas only.

10. Extension of ESIC coverage to employees working in establishments with less than 10 employees on voluntary basis.

11. Mandatory ESIC coverage through notification by the Central Government for employees in hazardous industries with less than 10 employees.

12. Social Security Scheme for Gig workers and Platform workers.

13. Re-skilling fund introduced for retrenched employees.

14. All occupations opened for women and permitted to work at night with safeguards.

15. Provision for Social Security Fund for unorganised workers.

16. Gratuity for Fixed Term Employment-Provision of gratuity on completion of one year service as against 5 years.

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