Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

First labour code on wages likely to be passed in Budget session

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Wage code bill, Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1949, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

Mains level: Reforms in labour laws


Wage Code Bill for labour reforms 

  1. The government will push its first labour code – Wage Code Bill – in the forthcoming budget session
  2. This would enable government to set benchmark minimum wage for different regions

About the bill

  1. The draft Code on Wages Bill 2017 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August 2017
  2. The bill seeks to combine Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1949, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 into one code

Important provisions of the bill

  1. The new Code on Wages will ensure minimum wages to all and timely payment to employees irrespective of the sector without any wage ceiling
  2. The bill proposes a concept of statutory National Minimum Wage for different geographical areas
  3. It will ensure that no state fixes the minimum wage below the benchmark decided by the Centre for that particular area
  4. It also provides for an appellate authority between the claimed authority and the judicial forum which will lead to speedy, cheaper and efficient redressal of grievances and settlement of claims

Restructuring labour laws

  1. The Ministry of Labour and Employment aims to combine over 44 labour laws into four broad codes in wages, industrial relations, social security, and occupational safety, health and working conditions
  2. The other three codes are at different levels of consultations with the stakeholders
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