Govt is working on simplifying labour laws
New Delhi: The government is committed to labour reforms and simplification in the related laws to safeguard workers' interest, Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said on Sunday.
Listing a slew of steps to protect workers' interest, the minister said provisions have been made in the Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Act, 2017 to increase the penalty for its contravention from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000, which is extendable to Rs 1 lakh.
Addressing the Golden Jubilee Award Ceremony of Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar, Gangwar said, "In accordance with the priorities set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi government, Labour Ministry is working towards 'reforms and simplification in labour laws' and converting 44 labour laws into 4 simplified codes".
Terming it a major step towards simplification of laws and ease of doing business, the minister said technology is used widely for administrative and other reforms so that labour laws could be made rational.
Asserting that workers are the backbone of the economy, Gangwar said it is for the first time that minimum wages have been enhanced for all sectors, including agriculture and construction. Besides, the Payment of Bonus Amendment Act has enhanced the bonus eligibility limit from Rs 10,000 to Rs 21,000 per month.
Listing other reforms, he said the government has ensured that employment of children below 14 years is prohibited besides, prohibiting working of teenagers in the age-group of 14 to 18 years in hazardous occupations.
Also, maternity benefit has been enhanced to 26 weeks from 12 weeks for two kids and ensured that payments to employees are deposited in their bank accounts by employers. Gangwar gave away the Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar to 111 individuals in recognition of outstanding suggestions given by worker or group of workers and implemented by the management resulting in the improvement in quality, productivity and working conditions such as safety, health and environmental conservation.
The National Safety Award was also given to 126 (73 winners & 53 runners-up) in recognition of outstanding safety performance of industrial establishments, construction sites and ports, among others.