THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Cabinet on Wednesday okayed the new labour policy which, according to the government, is designed to be employee-friendly while promoting the comprehensive and sustainable development of the state. Among other things, the policy promises to fix the lowest minimum wage in the state at Rs 600 a day and to discourage flash strikes.
The government plans to establish a ‘labour bank’ for ensuring the job security of domestic helps. The policy lays stress on the welfare of migrant labourers by energising the ‘Awas’ insurance scheme and expanding the ‘Apna Ghar’ accommodation network. ‘’So far 2.56 lakh workers have registered for the insurance scheme,’’ Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan said on Wednesday.
The labour policy promises to make work places woman-friendly. The government will intervene strongly to ensure benefits mandated by various labour laws to women employees. A ‘creche cess’ will be implemented in establishments employing women. Creche facilities will be made available wherever possible in association with the Social Justice Department.
Further, the policy promises to eradicate child labour. Minimum wages will be ensured to all employees who come under the ambit of the Minimum Wages Act. Minimum wages will be introduced in all major work sectors. “The government’s intention is to ensure a minimum wage of `600 a day to an ordinary worker,’’ said Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan.
The policy also promises new legislation and law amendments to protect the interests of workers. A legislation will be framed to ensure minimum wages in sectors that are not governed by the Minimum Wages Act. Registration and licensing procedures will be simplified to enable ease of doing business. It also promises steps for alleviating the pathetic labour conditions in the plantation sector.
The Labour Department will soon launch a survey to ascertain the actual number of unemployed persons who are registered in employment exchanges in the state. “As many as 35 lakh people are registered in the exchanges. But all of them are not unemployed. The survey is intended to ensure as to how many are jobless and how many have jobs,’’ said Ramakrishnan.
The department plans to profile the candidates registered in employment exchanges to ascertain their aspirations regarding jobs. Additionally, the government plans to open ‘Employability Centre’ in all the districts. The labour policy approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday also promises skill development programmes for job aspirants.