NEW DELHI: The Government of India is making a concerted effort to create 10 million jobs every year to fulfil the aspirations of the new age employee who is joining the workforce.
But this goal can be achieved only with overhauling of the labour laws. The new set of labour laws seeks to give an entrepreneur the flexibility of hiring an employee while giving employment security to the worker.
This was stated by Labour and Employment Secretary Shankar Aggarwal at a seminar on ‘The Emerging Face of Labour Reforms and good IR Practice’ organized by All India Organisation of Employers (AIOE), an affiliate body of FICCI.
Mr. Aggarwal said that the labour codes were being formulated in four areas namely wages, industrial relations, social security and working conditions to strengthen safety and social security of workers. He added that the four codes would simplify, amalgamate and rationalize the relevant provisions of the central labour laws and would be ready soon.
Mr. Aggarwal said that the wages code would unify the wage of a worker throughout the country across all sectors. The industrial relations code will amalgamate all laws and social security code will provide workers with health insurance and pension for old age. He added that the fourth code of working conditions will ensure that a worker is secure at his workplace.
Ms. Panudda Boonpala, Director, ILO DWT/CO for India, said that one of the key themes embedded in the debate on employment relations in recent years is flexibility wished for by the employers and security as well as similar benefits/protection of the workers wished for by workers. While it is recognized that contractualization of labour is emerging as an integral component of contemporary employment relations, there is a need for policy to situate contractualization of labour from perspective of business requirement and needs as well as security, protection and dignity of, decent work for workers.
Ms. Boonpala said that India is at a very crucial juncture in relation to bringing about labour law reforms. It is important that all stakeholders join in the discussion and arrive at a consensus that would be the best option for the country. She added that experience around the world suggests that new labour problems are solved neither by old forms of regulation nor by removing regulation but by better regulation and social dialogue is the best means to achieve this end.
Mr. Sanjay Bhatia, President, AIOE, said that in a bid to do away with multiplicity of labour laws and fulfill their commitment of maximum governance with minimum Government, the ministry has proposed the introduction of 3 new bills ‘The Labour Code on Industrial Relation Bill 2015’, ‘Labour Code on Wage Bill 2015’ and ‘The Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Conditions) Bill 2014’ which proposes to amalgamate existing labour laws.
Mr. Bhatia said, “We are in the ‘Make in India’ week, an ambitious programme which endeavours to place India to become the world’s manufacturing capital through business friendly government policies and labour reforms, this seminar so aptly fits into this entire framework and scheme of the Government of India as the Ministry of Labour and Employment has already embarked upon a series of Labour Reforms which are on the anvil on both Central and the State sphere in India.”
In his keynote address Mr. Y K Modi, Member-Governing Body, ILO and Chairman & CEO, Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd., said that there was a need for change in the mindset of the government. Labour laws should be simple and flexible to promote compliance and create jobs in a fast manner. He added that the labour policy should be an instrument to promote investment and employment generation and it was good to see the new government initiating changes in labour policy.
Submitting his suggestions to improve labour laws, Mr. Modi said that it was time to treat labour as an asset and not a liability in India. Also to encourage new entrepreneurs and create job opportunities, incentives should be given to employers for employing workers rather than on making capital investment. He added that a conducive and trustworthy environment should prevail where a worker escalates his problems to his employer and not to an outside body and trade unions.