In keeping with its objective of simplifying the country’s archaic labour laws, the government is planning to integrate three labour laws into a single code, which will enable companies to fire their staff without any official sanction if their staff strength is up to 300.
It will also make it slightly tougher to form workers unions.
According to the draft Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2015, prepared by the labour ministry, registering a trade union will require at least 10% of the employees or 100 workers, in contrast to the current requirement of seven members, regardless of the size of the establishment.
Also, only employees will be permitted to form unions, and in the unorganised sector, two outside officials can become members of a union.
The new law will combine Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.
The government has called a meeting with trade unions and industry representatives on May 6 to discuss proposals of the draft of the Labour Code, an official said.
Reacting to media reports that the bill was “anti-workers”, the official said: “It’s a misconception that this Bill is anti-workers as we have proposed to increase compensation for workers in certain cases of a job loss to 45 days’ pay, from the existing provision of 15 days.” The draft bill also proposes that all workers employed in industries for more than a year will get three months of notice in case there is a plan for retrenchment, but it shall not apply to an “undertaking set up for the construction of buildings, bridges, roads, canals, dams or for other construction work.”
(With agency inputs)