Labour reform bills to be introduced

  • The government is striving to introduce five more labour reform legislations in the winter session of Parliament, including the bills to introduce a new wage and industrial relations code and amend laws governing child labour and bonus payments.

  • These are in addition to the amendments to the Factories Act of 1948 that the government had listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha last week, but eventually wasn’t tabled.

Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015

  • The government has officially listed the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015 for consideration and passing in the Lok Sabha this week
  • The law is being changed to make more employees eligible for bonus and double such payments.
  • It proposes to raise the salary ceiling for statutory bonus payments to Rs 21,000 per month from Rs 10,000 specified under the 1965 law.

Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Bill, 2014

  • Seeks to make it easier for manufacturing firms to employ upto 40 workers by exempting them from compliance with six labour laws which include the Factories Act, the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 and the Shops and Establishment Acts of respective states.

Labour code on wages bill, 2014

  • Aims to replace four different laws pertaining to salaries — the Payment of Wages Act of 1936, the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

Labour code on industrial relations bll, 2014

  • Would substitute three different laws — the Trade Unions Act of 1926, the Industrial Disputes Act and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act of 1946.

Child Labour (Protection and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012

  • The government has also proposed to introduce the Child Labour (Protection and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 in the Rajya Sabha
  • The Bill proposes that children below fourteen years of age may only be allowed to work in their own family enterprises.
  • It also bars employment of children in hazardous occupations till the age of 18 years.
  • Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has, however, raised concerns about the Bill reducing the list of such occupations from 83 to just three – mining, inflammable substances and explosives and hazardous occupations as per the Factories Act.
  • This would leave the door open for children to be employed in sectors that are largely family-run like the carpet industry, embroidery and agriculture
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