Tag Archives: labour laws compliances

ESIC – collection of aadhar

ESIC has mandated vide its circular dated 20th May, 2021 that collection of aadhar is not yet mandatory for the purpose of availing benefits under ESI Scheme/ benefits. That is because majority of the Social Security Code has not yet been gazetted for implementation. Details given below.

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labour law returns – telangana

The Telangana Government has vide its notification extended the due dates for several labour law returns and forms by two months. The date of furnishing the returns is now fixed at 30th June, 2021.

Details of the forms/ returns thereby impacted is given below:

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Code on Wages Bill 2019

PIB press release dated 30th July, 2019

The Lok Sabha today passed The Code on Wages Bill, 2019. While opening the discussion for consideration and passing of the Bill,  Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar said that it is a historic Bill which aims to transform the old and obsolete labour laws into more accountable and transparent ones which is need of the hour. As many as 17 present labour laws are more than 50 years old and some of them even belong to pre-independence era.

Among the four Acts being subsumed in The Code on Wages Bill, The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 belongs to pre-independence era and The Minimum Wages Act 1948 is also 71 years old. The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 are also being subsumed in the Code.

He further said that wide consultations were held with trade unions, employers and State governments and tripartite consultations were held on 10th March, 2015 and 13th April, 2015. A draft of Wage Code was made available in public domain through Ministry’s website. Many persons gave their valuable suggestions. The Bill was introduced in last Lok Sabha on 10 August, 2017 and was referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee which submitted its Report on 18th December 2018. Out of 24 recommendations made by standing committee, 17 were accepted by government.

He further said that the Code ensures minimum wages along with timely payment of wages to all the employees and workers. Many unorganized sector workers like agricultural workers, painters, persons working in restaurants and dhabas, chowkidars etc. who were out of the ambit of minimum wages will get legislative protection of minimum wages after the bill becomes an Act. It has been ensured in the bill that employees getting monthly salary shall get the salary by 7th of next month, those working on weekly basis shall get the salary on last day of the week and daily wagers should get it on the same day.

He expressed hope that The Code on Wages will prove to be a milestone and give respectable life to 50 crore unorganized sector workers. The Minister responded to the debate in detail and thanked all the respected members for cooperation in passing the Bill.

The salient features of the Code are as following:

• The Code on Wage universalizes the provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling. At present, the provisions of both Minimum Wages Act and Payment of Wages Act apply on workers below a particular wage ceiling working in Scheduled Employments only. This would ensure “Right to Sustenance” for every worker and intends to increase the legislative protection of minimum wage from existing about 40% to 100% workforce. This would ensure that every worker gets minimum wage which will also be accompanied by increase in the purchasing power of the worker thereby giving fillip to growth in the economy. Introduction of statutory Floor Wage to be computed based on minimum living conditions, will extend qualitative living conditions across the country to about 50 crore workers. It is envisaged that the states to notify payment of wages to the workers through digital mode.

• There are 12 definitions of wages in the different Labour Laws leading to litigation besides difficulty in its implementation. The definition has been simplified and is expected to reduce litigation and will entail at lesser cost of compliance for an employer. An establishment will also be benefited as the number of registers, returns, forms etc., not only can be electronically filed and maintained, but it is envisaged that through rules, not more than one template will be prescribed.

• At present, many of the states have multiple minimum wages. Through Code on Wages, the methodology to fix the minimum wages has been simplified and rationalised by doing away with type of employment as one of the criteria for fixation of minimum wage. The minimum wage fixation would primarily based on geography and skills. It will substantially reduce the number of minimum wages in the country from existing more than 2000 rates of minimum wages.

• Many changes have been introduced in the inspection regimes including web based randomised computerised inspection scheme, jurisdiction-free inspections, calling of information electronically for inspection, composition of fines etc. All these changes will be conducive for enforcement of labour laws with transparency and accountability.

• There were instances that due to smaller limitation period, the claims of the workers could not be raised. To protect the interest of the workers, the limitation period has been raised to 3 years and made uniform for filing claims for minimum wages, bonus, equal remuneration etc., as against existing varying period between 6 months to 2 years.

• It can be said that a historical step for ensuring statutory protection for minimum wage and timely payment of wage to 50 crore worker in the country has been taken through the Code on Wages besides promoting ease of living and ease of doing business.

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Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for moving official amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012.

The Official Amendments along with the Amendment Bill 2012 proposes to make the following salient amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986:-

1. Employment of children below 14 years prohibited in all occupations and processes and age of prohibition of employment linked to age under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. However, an exception has been made:

a) where the child helps his family or family enterprises, which is other than any hazardous occupations or processes set forth in the Schedule, after his school hours or during vacations;

b) where the child works as an artist in an audio-visual entertainment industry, including advertisement, films, television serials or any such other entertainment or sports activities except the circus, subject to such conditions and safety measures, as may be prescribed and provided that such work does not affect the school education of the child.

2. A new definition of adolescent has been introduced in the CLPR Act and employment of adolescents (14 to 18 years of age) has been prohibited in hazardous occupations and processes. These provisions would go a long way in protecting adolescents from the employment not suitable to their age.

3. Stricter punishment for employers for violation of the Act has been proposed to act as a deterrent:

a) In case of first offence of employing any child or adolescent in contravention of the Act, penalty would be imprisonment for a term not less than six months but which may extend to two years or with fine not less than Rs.20,000/-, but which may extend to Rs.50,000/- or with both. Earlier penalty for employing any child in contravention of the Act, was imprisonment for term not less than three months but which may extend to one year, or with fine not less than Rs.10,000/-, but which may extend to Rs. 20,000/- or with both.

b) In case of a second or subsequent offence of employing any child or adolescent in contravention of the Act, the minimum imprisonment would be one year which may extend to three years. Earlier penalty for second or subsequent offence of employing any child in contravention of the Act, was imprisonment for a minimum term of six months which may extend to two years.

4. Offence of employing any child or adolescent in contravention of the Act by an employer has been made cognizable. This provision would act as a deterrent against the offence of employing a child or adolescent in contravention of the Act.

5. Punishment for parents/guardians: In the Principal Act, the same punishment was provided for parents/guardians for permitting a child to work in contravention of the Act, as prescribed for the employer of the child. However, taking a realistic view of the socio-economic conditions of the parents/guardians, there would be no punishment in case of a first offence by the parents/guardians and in case of a second and subsequent offence, the penalty would be a fine which may extend to Rs.10,000.

6. Constitution of Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund for one or more districts for the rehabilitation of the child or adolescent rescued. Thus, the Act itself will provide for a fund to carry out rehabilitation activities.

Background:

The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act (CLPR Act) 1986 prohibits employment of a child in 18 occupations and 65 processes and regulates the conditions of working of children in other occupations/ processes. As per this Act a child means any person who has not completed 14 years of age. The Act provides punishment for the offence of employing or permitting employment of any child in contravention of the provisions of this Act.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 enjoins the State to ensure free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years. A corollary to this would be that if a child is in the work place, he would miss school. Thus, the CLPR Act is not aligned to the RTE Act as it permits employment of child below 14 years in occupations/processes not prohibited. Further, CLPR Act is not in conformity with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions 138 and 182, which provide for minimum age of entry into employment and prohibition of employment of persons below 18 years, in work which is likely to harm health, safety and morals.

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