According to the new labour bill, that Modi government is set to bring in parliament, women cannot be called to work on holidays or after 7 pm unless safety is ensured. This comes as great news to women across the country who are required to work after 7 pm. Employers will be bound to ensure their 'safety'.
Sources said that the Bill, Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions 2019, cleared by the Cabinet is being vetted by the Law Ministry and would soon be introduced in Parliament.
Last week, a Group of Ministers(GoM) chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah suggested certain points in the Bill, including "taking the consent of the worker with respect to overtime hours."
Here are the key proposals of New Labour Bill:
1) On a holiday, a woman worker cannot be called for work. In case, there is an urgency for her to be called to work, her safety would have to be ensured by the employer
2) The new Bill includes grandparents under the definition of family (of a worker under the law). In other words, benefits granted to parents would now be availed by dependent grandparents too
3) For the benefit of both the worker and the employer, overtime hours enhanced to 100 hours would be further enhanced to 125 hours per month
4) Welfare provisions like creche for children, canteen for quality food, first aid facilities in case of any mishap and provision of a welfare officer in an establishment have also been given importance
5) These welfare steps would have to be ensured by "all establishments as far as practically feasible." Like the wage bill, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill subsumes relevant provisions of at least 13 existing Central Labour Laws
"We have tried to make laws easier and better for the worker. We have also tried to ensure a balance between rights of the workers and the employers. The government has given top priority to the safety of women. For working journalists, including those working in the electronic media, better wages and working conditions have been assured," said a top official of the Labour and Employment Ministry.
Sources said on the instructions of the leadership, several other benefits would be granted to workers. For instance, employers would provide free of cost annual health checks-up for employees above prescribed age. Employers would also be expected to provide an appointment letter to every employee.
The radical changes for the benefits of the worker have been included in the Bill after extensive consultations with all stake holders, including the central trade unions, employers associations and state governments.