Govt in the process of converting 44 labour laws into four simplified codes

Aimed at easing the existing labour rules, the government is in the process of converting 44 laws into four codes covering industrial relations, wages, social security and safety issues.

"We got to ease our labour laws. We have got about 44 labour laws. And to expect a small business enterprise to take care of all these is a tall order. So, we are converting those 44 labour laws into 4 codes.

"One code is on industrial relations, one is on wages, third code is on social security and fourth is on safety. Two codes are almost ready, one on wage and one on industrial relations," Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal said today.

Aggarwal was speaking as a chief guest during a seminar on 'Compliance of Labour Legislations-Issues and Concern' organised by industry PHD Chamber.

He said, by way of converting the 44 labour laws in to 4 codes, the government is trying to consolidate and simplify the laws alongwith taking care of workers' safety.

So, in order to bring a larger number of people and enterprises under Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS), the government is trying to bring coverage to every establishment employing ten or more people, down from the 20 now.

"On the compliance side, we are trying to dilute many more compliances, so that people need not be scared of these laws. Even in terms of hiring people, we are taking steps. We also have to ensure that every worker get a decent salary," Aggarwal said.

On job creation, he said India needs to create more jobs at every level to make our economic growth sustainable and sufficient.

"Unfortunately in the last few years, in spite of all these growth of 9 per cent and plus (before 2008-09), the growth has mainly been a jobless growth." 

He said the difference between rich and poor is growing up which is not sustainable for growth. And there is a need to create a mechanism or a policy which will ensure and encourage people to create more jobs.

"Unfortunately the labour polices and the laws are working in the opposite direction. Instead of encouraging creation of jobs, it basically demotivates a person to go up a higher level of employment generation.

"The moment you cross 300 (number of employees), you have a different set of laws, the moment you cross 20 you have different set of laws, and those laws may be a little more harsh. So everybody is trying to limit the workforce and that is not very conducive," he added.

He said the government is sensitive to employee concerns as well as employers and labour reforms are under way.

"Recently, we have taken a large number of initiatives in the labour reform area. Be it ESIC (Employee's State Insurance Corporation), all these areas the process part has been simplified," he said.

Aggarwal said people can now get registered for PF account and need not visit those offices physically.

"Everything is now being kept in public domain. We are deploying technology in a big way as a trade enabler and a game changer," he added further.

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