Cabinet Approves Amendments to 3 Labour Codes

  • The Union cabinet approved amendments to the labour codes on social security, industrial relations, and occupational safety and health (OSH), which could include pension and medical benefits to gig workers.
  • The codes – to be moved in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament – will allow states to introduce significant changes to their labour laws framework, such as rules for retrenchment, through notifications.
  • The codes are likely to clearly define areas and conditions in which fixed-term employment will be allowed.
  • The proposed amendments include a clear definition of the ‘appropriate authority’ on occupational safety and removal of distinction between term employees and workers in the Industrial Relations Code.
  • The proposed IR Code has suggested special provisions for layoff and retrenchment in establishments employing 100 or more workers or such number as notified by the appropriate government while strengthening the health facilities for workers at factory premises.
  • These changes will help states such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh push through labour law reforms they introduced recently, including allowing businesses to extend shift hours to 12 hours from eight.
  • The central government has been working to concise 44 central labour laws into four broad codes on wages, industrial relations, OSH and social security.