NEW DELHI: Three labour code bills, which will provide social security for workers in organised and unorganized sectors as well as remove hurdles for winding up of companies, have been passed by Parliament.
Rajya Sabha passed the bills on industrial relations, occupational safety and social security by a voice vote on Wednesday, amidst the continuing boycott by opposition parties over the suspension of eight MPs. The three bills, which were passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday, will now be sent to the President for his assent. Describing the bills as “historic game changers”, labour minister Santosh Gangwar said they will harmonies the needs of workers, industries and other related parties. The reforms will prove to be a milestone for the welfare of the workers in the country, while also providing a transparent system to suit the changed business environment, he said.
The reforms will safeguard the interest of workers and provide “universal social security” to them by expanding the ambit of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation and Employees’ State Corporation of India. There will be a “social security fund” to cover the around 40 crore workers in the unorganized sector, he said.
The reforms will also allow firms with up to 300 workers to fire workers without government permission. As many as 16 states have already increased the threshold for closure, lay off and retrenchment in firms up to 300 workers without government permission, he said. He said it was not good for employment generation to keep the threshold low at 100 because it discourages employers to recruit more workers.