‘Improve social security for workers’

SourceThe Hindu

Relevance: This article analyzes the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour report on the impact of the pandemic on rising unemployment.


The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour highlighted many issues and provided suggestions for improving employment.

About the News

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour submitted a report on the impact of the pandemic on rising unemployment. The panel, which is chaired by Bhartruhari Mahtab, called on the government to improve social security measures for workers.

Key findings of the Committee:
  • The panel noted that like in most countries, in India too, the pandemic had made matter worse for women, the young, self-employed, migrants, and workers with low and medium skills.
  • The pandemic has devastated the labour market, denting the employment scenario and threatening the survival of millions of workers and their families.
  • The committee noted that the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data for years prior to the pandemic were available, and the real impact of COVID-19 would only be seen when the PLFS for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 are available.
    • Citing the PLFS, the report said 90% of workers were in the informal sector, which is 419 million of the 465 million workers.
Read more: Periodic Labour Force Survey and Unemployment in India- Explained, pointwise
  • The report mentioned that although no survey data is available yet on the impact of the second wave, it has undisputedly been more severe than the first.
  • The panel mentioned that offering another round of income support to the poor to compensate for loss of jobs/employment, would go a long way in mitigating their woes.
Read more: What India’s labour force survey actually says about employment
Issues mentioned by the committee:
  • The panel flagged the issue of lack of a study by the Labour Ministry to gauge the impact of its advisories on employers’ recruitment and termination policies.
  • The committee pulled up the Ministry for the delay in developing a national database of unorganised workers.
Read more: Supreme Court’s Directives for Migrants
Suggestions of the report:
  • In the backdrop of pre-existing high and rising unemployment, a comprehensive plan and roadmap are required to address the deteriorating condition of employment, much aggravated by the pandemic.
  • The panel recommended the strengthening of social security measures and the possibility of transferring money in the bank accounts of the informal workers during adverse conditions like COVID-19.
  • The report suggested that the government should strive to support a recovery that is robust, broad-based and women-centric and based on social dialogues with all the stakeholders concerned.
  • The panel said universal healthcare should be made a legal obligation of the government and the budgetary allocation for MGNREGA should be increased.
  • The panel also recommended an urban job guarantee scheme on the lines of the MGNREGA.
Read more: Migrant workers and their Social protection in India – Explained, pointwise
Print Friendly and PDF