Union Cabinet approves amendment to Three Labour Codes

On September 8, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved amendments to Labour Codes. These three labour codes were proposed in Industrial Relations Code, 2019. The three codes include Occupational safety and health, social security and industrial relations.

Highlights

The Industrial Codes will define areas and conditions under which fixed-term employment shall be allowed. It recognizes trade unions. The Industrial Relations Code, 2019 also seeks to provide pension and medical benefit to gig workers.

The Code will mainly replace three existing laws. They are as follows

  • Trade Unions Act, 1926
  • Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
  • Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946

Industrial Relations Code, 2019

This is the third bill in a series of four bills that aim to amalgamate and rationalize more than 40 laws related to labours. The other two bills are Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions code, 2019 and Code on Wages, 2019.

Key Features of the Code

  • Seven or more members of trade union shall apply to register it
  • The trade unions with at least 10% of workers or 100 workers are to be registered. The lesser count is taken for registration
  • A Negotiation Union shall be formed to negotiate with the employers
  • In case of multiple trade unions, the union with at least 75% of workers are to be recognized.
  • The strikes by union needs prior notices
  • It allows GoI to modify or reject awards that are passed by National Industrial Tribunal and Industrial Tribunal.

Significance

Easing labour laws will help to promote setting up of enterprises and catalyze creation of employment opportunities.

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