New Labour Bill lays stress on safety of women employees

WorkplaceWork hours of women employees should be from 6 am to 7 pm, recommends the new Labour Bill that has been cleared by the Union cabinet.

If women are required to work beyond 7 pm, their employer has to ensure their safety. Also, if the women employees are required to work on holidays, then it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure their protection.

Other provisions

• The medical expenses of employee's dependent grandparents should also be assured along with that of the parents

• Overtime should not exceed more than 125 hours in a month

• There should be creche facility, canteen, and first-aid facility for children

• There should be a welfare officer at the establishment.

Revived bill

The labour bill, also known as wage code bill, had lapsed after the 16th Lok Sabha was dissolved last month.

The Labour Ministry wants to push the draft law for passage in the current Parliament session," a source had told PTI earlier.

The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 10, 2017. It was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on August 21, 2017. The panel had submitted its report on December 18, 2018.

The bill would subsume 44 labour laws with certain amendments to improve the ease of doing business and attract investment for spurring growth.

Its four codes will deal with wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare, and industrial relations.

The Code on Wages will replace the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, Minimum Wages Act, 1948, Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

The bill provides that the central government will fix minimum wages for certain sectors, including railways and mines, while the states would be free to set minimum wages for other category of employments.

The code also provides for setting of a national minimum wage. The central government can set separate minimum wages for different regions or states.

The draft law also says that the minimum wages would be revised every five years.

Last month, following an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar had said his ministry would push for the passage of the bill in the current session of Parliament.

The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

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