Lok  Sabha  passed three Labour Laws on Social Security, Occupational Safety and Industrial Relations on 22 September, 2020. 

The Minister for Labour and Employment  Santosh Gangwar termed the Bills, The Industrial Relations Code 2020, The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020  and the Code of Social Security, 2020  as ‘historic’ and would usher in long required reforms in industry and labour.

Among the 13 Acts subsumed under the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, the most discussed Act during the pandemic is the Inter-State Migrant workmen (Regulation and Employment and Conditions of Service) Act,1979.

The Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 governs the working conditions, trade unions, industrial relations, retrenchments, layoffs and establishment of industrial tribunals. The Act requires any establishments employing 100 or more workers to seek permission from government before any retrenchment and now it has been raised the workers strength to 300 thereby making a large number of workers keeping out and making it a mockery on industrial relations and settlement of industrial disputes to a large number of workforce in the country.

 In almost all important labour Acts, the Factories Act, 1948, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) 1946, the threshold of employee strength has been raised and the health, safety norms and welfare measures were toppled.

Wide discretion has been given to the state government to exempt new factories from the basic safety and welfare measures.

Last year the central government introduced four labour Codes as Bills to replace 29 existing labour laws.

The Code on Wages was passed by the Parliament in 2019.

The Standing Committee on Labour presented its reports on the other three Bills and these were replaced and passed in the Lok Sabha now.

There should be a wider scrutiny and discussion on these labour laws in the country.

 Central trade unions have called for a nationwide protest against the three labour laws passed by the Parliament.

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