Government on Tuesday introduced two Bills—The Code on Wages, 2019 and The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019 in Lok Sabha. To amend and consolidate laws relating to wages and bonus, Union Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar introduced the Bill—The Code on Wages, 2019 in the House.
Opposing the introduction of the Bill, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) member Saugata Roy said, ‘This is done on behest of employers and workers would be in trouble.’ He demanded that the Bill be sent to a Parliamentary Standing Committee. ‘The interest of labour is not looked into the Bill,’ he added.
RSP member N K Premachandran and Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also sought to send the Bill to a Parliamentary standing committee. Speaking on the Bill, the Minister said the Bill has been brought after five years discussion with 13 Labour Unions and employers. He said the Bill is in interest of the labourers.
The proposed legislation intends to amalgamate, simplify and rationalise the relevant provisions of the four central labour enactments relating to wages, namely the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
The amalgamation of the said laws will facilitate the implementation and also remove the multiplicity of definitions and authorities without compromising on the basic concepts of welfare and benefits to workers. The proposed legislation would bring the use of technology in its enforcement.
The Bill provides for all essential elements relating to wages, equal remuneration, its payment and bonus.
The power to fix minimum wages continues to be vested in the Central Government as well the state government in their respective spheres. The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha with voice vote.
Mr Gangwar introduced another Bill—The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019 in the House amid opposition raised by AITC and RSP. The Bill is to consolidate and amend the laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions of the persons employed in an establishment.
Opposing the introduction of the Bill, RSP member N K Premachandran said it is a new Bill and detailed discussion is required on it.
He demanded that the Bill be sent to a parliamentary standing committee. AITC member Saugata Roy also opposed the introduction of the Bill and said, ‘This is being done in interest of employers and they want one law.’
He said this Bill will not improve the working condition of people. I oppose the introduction of the Bill,’ he said. The Bill was introduced by voice vote. The New Code has been drafted after amalgamation, simplification and rationalisation of the relevant provisions of the 13 Central Labour Acts.