The labour code on industrial relations, the code on social security and the code on occupational safety, health and working conditions got the President’s assent last week.
“We are starting the process of framing rules for all the three codes and suggestions of all stakeholders will be considered while finalising these rules,” Gangwar assured employers organisations. He was speaking at the 86th annual general meeting of the All India Organisation of Employers of the industry body the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Dagmar Walter, director, ILO, DWT for South Asia and country office for India hailed the labour codes saying they can act as a critical enabler to advance the four pillars of ILO. “Labour law codes in the post Covid scenario need to ensure development of a just and inclusive society. The success of new codes will depend on its implementation strategy and participation of its partners,” she added.
The ILO will soon set up a help desk on pilot basis to support micro and small enterprises with recovery related issues in the post Covid period as these companies resume operations.
During his address at the event, minister Gangwar outlined the various employer related provisions in the three codes that he said are aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the country. Some of the employer friendly provisions in the three codes are legalizing fixed-term employment, raising the threshold on headcount for seeking government approval for closure and retrenchment and significantly reducing the liability of the employers to maintain multiple registers.
While industry welcomed the above employer related measures, it raised concerns over lack of clarity on definitions across codes and the penal provisions in the code.
“The wage definition is neither lucid nor clear. It is prone to several interpretations and can lead to litigation,”Rohit Relan, president, AIOE said, suggesting the government can come up with illustrations to facilitate better understanding.
“The codes have provided for substantial increase in statutory payments on the part of employers,” Relan said, adding the government should avoid criminalisation of labour codes by removing the provision of imprisonment to employers.