Home/ News / India/  President Kovind gives assent to three labour codes

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the three labour codes passed by both houses of Parliament last week, paving the way for implementing labour reforms in the country.

The Code on Social Security 2020, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Condition Code 2020, and the Industrial relation Code 2020 have now been notified in the gazette following the presidential assent for public information.

The three labour codes now join the Wage Code passed in August 2019, to merge 29 central labour laws into four broader legislations.

The three codes will now offer industries flexibility in doing business, hiring and firing, make industrial strikes difficult while promoting fixed-term employment, reducing influence of trade unions and aid expansion of social security net for informal sector workers, gig and platform employees.

The implementation of the four codes, including the wage code, will only happen after the labour ministry frames rules and notifies them. Labour minister Santosh Gangwar had told news agency PTI earlier this month that the rules of all the four codes will be notified by end of 2020.

Industries believe that it’s a long-overdue and much-needed reform for improving ease of doing business and attracting investments, while workers unions, opposition political parties and some labour economists believe that labour rights will now be a thing of the past, and the codes are tilted in favour of employers. They argue, even if it creates more jobs, it will not be decent and won't offer wage premium. The union labour ministry, however, has reiterated that the codes balance welfare of workers and employers both.

Some of the existing laws which now stand merged with these codes are the Factories Act, the Industrial Disputes Act, the Trade Union Act, the Mines Act, the EPF Act, the Employees State Insurance Corporation Act, the Minimum Wage act, and Maternity Benefit Act, among others.

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Updated: 30 Sep 2020, 04:51 PM IST
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