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Economic Advisory Council (EAC-PM) calls for a unified labor law

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Recently, the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) has called for a unified labor law.

In the year 2019, the Center had introduced four labor codes to consolidate 29 central labor laws.

These are yet to be notified and the government is planning to introduce them by the coming fiscal year 2022-23.

The Center had completed the process of finalizing the draft rules on these codes in February 2021. Both the Center and the States are required to notify rules under the four codes mentioned above for making these laws applicable in their respective jurisdictions. The reason for this is that labor is a subject under the Concurrent List.

However, in the report prepared by EAC-PM, deficiencies in the labor code have been highlighted-

  • Labor reforms have not adopted a comprehensive view of all labor laws. For example- all types of workers are not included.
  • The definitional discrepancies have not been addressed. For example- clarity on the jurisdiction of the appropriate government.
  • The need to spend political capital on labor law reforms has been questioned. These capital expenditures are not sufficient for employment generation.

Key Suggestions given by EAC-PM

  • A unified labor code can be formulated in line with the Bangladesh Labor Act of 2006.
  • Labor laws should be further simplified.
  • Alternative policy efforts should be made to generate employment and promote industrial development.
  • It is to be noted that the EAC-PM is an independent body constituted to advise the Government of India (especially the Prime Minister) on economic and related issues.

4 Labor Codes:

Wage Code, 2019: It aims to regulate wage and bonus payments in all employments and provide equal remuneration to employees performing similar nature of work.

Social Security Code, 2020: It consolidates nine laws relating to social security and maternity benefits.

Industrial Relations Code, 2020: To improve the business environment by reducing the labor compliance burden of industries.

Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020: To regulate the health and safety conditions of workers in establishments with 10 or more workers and in all mines and docks.

Source – PIB

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