Centre’s labour codes against workers’ interests: Minister

The four codes were introduced by integrating 29 labour laws

Published - July 12, 2022 07:47 pm IST

Labour Minister V. Sivankutty said here on Saturday that many of the provisions in the four labour codes introduced by the Centre by integrating 29 labour laws went against the interests of workers.

It failed to recognise the legitimate rights of employees while some laws even went against the principles approved by the International Labour Organisation.

The State government, in framing the draft rules for the four new Labour Codes passed by the Centre, tried its best to protect the rights of workers as much as possible within the statutory limitations, Minister for Labour V. Sivankutty said in the House on Tuesday.

Replying to a calling attention motion by T.P. Ramakrishnan on the need for the State government to take special measures to protect labour rights when the Labour Codes passed by the Centre comes into effect in July 2022, Mr. Sivankutty said that it was a fact that the new Labour Codes had taken away many existing provisions in labour laws that protected workers’ rights.

The Centre, in 2019-20, had amalgamated 29 labour laws in the country into four codes—the Wage Code, Social Security Code, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code and the Industrial Relations Code. The codes have been passed by Parliament and the States have now been asked to frame Rules for the Codes.

Mr. Sivankutty said that while the codes had been passed, there had been no intimation from the Centre that these would come into effect from July 2022.

The State Law department has framed the draft Rules for the codes, after detailed discussions held by the Labour Commissioner with various stakeholders. The draft rules have been notified in the gazette and the public and all stakeholders had been given time till May 31 to send in their suggestions on the draft rules.

Mr. Sivankutty said that many provisions in the codes violated the workers’ rights and that some provisions were against the principles propounded by the International Labour Union.

The State government was particularly concerned that once the codes come into place, crores of workers in the unorganised sector would lose their right to form labour unions and that there would be no social security provisions for them.

The State government had apprised the Labour Standing Committee about the State’s concerns and the recommendations submitted by the State were protective of labour rights, he said.

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