Labour Laws Amendment Bill, 2011 passed in Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha has passed Labour Laws Amendment Bill, 2011 which simplifies labour law procedures for establishments employing up to 40 workers. This bill amends the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Amendment and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1988.

The Amendment Bill, proposes to change the original Act of 1988 by

  • Increasing the number of laws under which small establishments are exempted from furnishing returns and maintaining registers.
  • Amending the definition of “small” establishments to cover units employing between 10 to 40 workers as against the limit of 19 workers at present.
  • The seven Acts that are added to the list includes
  1. Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961.
  2. Payment of Bonus Act, 1965.
  3. Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979
  4. Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.
  5. Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966.
  6. Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986.
  7. Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.
  • The Bill also adds that the employer may maintain the returns filed and the registers on a computer, computer disk or other electronic media.

Background

  • The Act of 1988, defines “small establishments” as any place which employs between 10 and 19 people on any day of the preceding 12 months.  A “very small establishment” is a place that employs nine or less people.
  • Under it, these small and very establishments are exempted from furnishing returns and maintaining registers under certain labour laws.
  • Small establishments were also exempted from furnishing returns and maintaining registers under certain laws.
  • Under the Act of 1988, the establishments were required to furnish returns and maintain registers in a specified format.

Thus this Amendment Bill seeks to widen the earlier Act to more establishments and adds more laws from which these establishments were exempted earlier.

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