Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions, 2018
In News: Lok Sabha has cleared three labour code Bills viz the Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2020, Code on Social Security Bill, 2020 and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2020.
Key Features of Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions, 2018
- Consolidation of laws: It will amalgamate 13 labour laws including the Factories Act, 1948; the Mines Act, 1952; the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 etc.
- Mandatory registration: All establishments covered by the Code must be registered with registering officers
- Advisory Bodies: The bill provides for the setting up of Occupat ional Safety and Health Advisory Boards by the central and state governments at the national and state level.
- Annual health check-up: It has been made mandatory in factories and its charge will be borne by the employers.
- Duties of employers: Appointment letters for all workers (including those employed before this code), underlying their rights to statutory benefits.
- Policy on Working Hours: Overtime work must be paid twice the rate of daily wages. Female workers, with their consent, may work past 7pm and before 6am, if approved by the central or state government.
- Leave policy: No employee may work for more than six days a week. Workers must receive paid annual leave for at least one in 20 days of the period spent on duty.
- Working conditions and welfare facilities: The employer is required to provide a hygienic work environment with ventilation, comfortable temperature and humidity, sufficient space, clean drinking water, and latrine and urinal accommodations.
Way Forward for Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions, 2018
- Reforms should be made with the consensus of all stakeholders -The workers, their unions, and employers and their associations etc.
- Any reform should strive to increase the trust between workers and employers.
- There is a need for a national policy for domestic workers at the earliest, to recognise their rights and promote better working conditions.
- To achieve the objective of training the 10 million apprentices, the government should form National Apprenticeship Corp by merging the Regional Directorate of Skill Development and the Entrepreneurship and Board of Apprenticeship Training.