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Industrial Relations Code Bill

Jan 22, 2020, 05.37 AM IST

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INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CODE BILL

Parliamentary standing panel invites suggestions on Industrial Relations Code, Code on Social Security

“The committee have decided to invite memorandam containing views and suggestions separately on each code from the public in general and NGOs/ experts/ stakeholders and institutions in particular,” labour ministry said in a statement. The bills have been referred to the standing committee for examination and report within three months.

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  • The bill seeks to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) so successful bidders of insolvent companies will be ring-fenced from any risk of criminal proceedings for offences committed by previous promoters of companies concerned. It was passed by the Cabinet and subsequently introduced in the Lok Sabha during the Winter session earlier this month.

    Representatives from different companies including Accenture, Adobe, Facebook, Genpact, Google, HCL, Infosys, Intel, Microsoft and TCS are expected to participate in the deliberations, sources said.

    The industrial relations code is the third of four labour codes that have got approval from the Cabinet. The Bill consolidates essential elements of three laws—the Trade Unions Act, 1926, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947—helping improve ease of doing business.

    The labour code on Industrial Relations 2019, cleared by the cabinet last week, also says that fixed-term employees will get all statutory benefits like social security, wages, etc. on par with the regular employees who are doing work of same or similar nature. The Bill is expected to be introduced in parliament on Wednesday.

    A slowdown in consumption is also hurting tax collections and a prolong period of economic uncertainty will further pressure.

    The Union cabinet approved the Industrial Relations Code, 2019 that proposes to retain the threshold of 100 employees to impart flexibility to firms for retrenchment, but it has a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification. Trade unions across the country resent the Code and plan to launch a nationwide agitation.

    According to BMS, since the code continues to retain the threshold under each legislation including the provident fund, employees’ state insurance, gratuity and maternity benefits, it will not benefit the entire 500 million workforce of the country. "Main concern that remains in the Code is the lack of its universal character," it said.

    The Bill proposes setting up a social security fund using corpus available under corporate social responsibility. This fund will provide welfare benefits to all workers, including gig workers. As per the bill, millions of organised sector employees may soon have the option of reducing their provident fund contribution.

    Fixed-term employment, which the govt had allowed for all sectors last year, has now been codified.

    Entering 2020, the government hopes that India would be able to implement all four codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and occupational safety, health and working conditions. These are expected to improve ease of doing business and safeguard interest of workers.

    In a meeting with around 20 companies and industry associations, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) also asked Amazon, Microsoft and Wipro to compile challenges and possible solutions for data storage, and come back to the department in two weeks.

    Justice J R Midha issued notice to the central government on RIL's application and listed the matter for hearing on February 6. The application was filed in a pending petition of the government for execution of an arbitral award in its favour. RIL has sought recall of two previous orders of November 22 and December 20, 2019.

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