Lok Sabha in its recently held session has passed three new labour enactments on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions, Industrial Relations Code and Social Security Code, by dismantling existing 27 enactments in the name of ‘Ease of Business’, which are purely in the interest of corporates.Thereafter, Rajya Sabha has also affirmed the three new labour enactments.
Basically the Law on Social Security Code brings together the Provident Fund (PF), the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI), Maternity Benefits, Gratuity and other entitlements to create a simplified single law. The Law on Occupational Safety similarly merges all laws relating to health and hazardous working conditions. It imposes the liability on the employer and the contractor and makes PDS benefits transferable for migrant workers. It also stipulates toll-free numbers and assistance cells to help free bonded labour.
The Law on Industrial Relations Code of 2020
, has redefined the terms “employer", “employee" and “worker". It has also given a new definition for “strike" that now includes mass casual leaves by 50% of the workforce employed by any firm. The Government claimes that the motive of these labour laws reform is to ensure social security, non-hazardous work conditions, and higher minimum wages. Ten central trade unions, except Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, are observing the nationwide general strike to protest against various policies regarding labour laws of the Central Government on 26 November 2020. Besides, the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) has also extended fraternal support to strike. The strike by the unions is against the anti-labour policy of the government. Similarly, the bank employees are protesting against the privatisation of banks, outsourcing and contract system in jobs in the sector, as stated by AIBEA general secretary C H Venkatachalam.