Lok Sabha Current Affairs
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A private members bill, Right to Disconnect Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by MP Supriya Sule.
Features of the Bill
The important features of the bill are:
- The bill empowers the employee with the right to not respond to employers’ calls, texts or emails after office hours.
- The bill aims to reduce work-related stress and strive for a better work-life balance.
- The bill applies to companies with more than 10 employees.
- Such companies are required to set up an Employee Welfare Committee to ensure compliance.
- The bill stipulates that no disciplinary action can be taken against you if you choose to not respond to your employer after your stipulated work hours.
Some measures have been already taken in empowering the employees with Right to disconnect. For Example:
- France has already provided Right to disconnect since 2017 in companies with more than 50 employees with an aim to re-build the boundary between professional and personal life.
- Even Spain has a similar law which provides Right to Disconnect without any minimum employee criterion.
- German automobile maker Daimler had taken this bold step of introducing software that automatically deletes any emails you get while on vacation, back in 2014.
What is the Importance to Right to Disconnect?
Studies found that the need to be available 24X7 was adversely affecting the workers, even if workers weren’t actively checking work emails after hours, they can still be harmed by the expectation that they should be available. This work culture was creating anxiety amongst workers.
Studies also showed that workers who answered work-related emails after 9pm had worse quality of sleep. Hence a campaign had gained ground demanding Right to Disconnect.
The government has re-promulgated the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 to amend the Companies Act 2013. Even though the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018 for this effect was passed in Lok Sabha, it was pending before Rajya Sabha. The ordinance was first issued in November and would have ceased to be operational from January 21. Hence the government has decided to re-promulgate the ordinance.
Features of the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The Loksabha had passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The bill had important features like re-categorisation of offences, reducing the burden on special courts and bringing down the applicable penalties for small companies, enhancing the jurisdiction of Regional Director for compounding offences, empowers the central government to allow certain companies to have a different financial year instead of being determined by the National Company Law Tribunal among others.
The main objective of the amendment bill was the promotion of ease of doing business along with better corporate compliance.
Promulgation of Ordinance
Article 123 of the Constitution empowers the President to promulgate Ordinances to amend certain laws when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session and hence it is not possible to enact laws in the Parliament.
Ordinances must be must be approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembling or they shall cease to operate.
Similar power to promulgate the ordinance has been provided to the Governor of the state under Article 213.
Ordinances were provided as a stop-gap arrangement and not as an alternative legislation process. The promulgation of the ordinance is subject to judicial review
Tags: Article 123 • Article 213 • better corporate compliance. • Companies (Amendment) Bill 2018 • Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 • Companies Act 2013 • Ease of doing business • Lok Sabha • Ordinance promulgation • Rajya Sabha