Draft labour policy strikes subtle balance

The State government on Wednesday unveiled a draft labour policy that sought to strike a delicate balance between workers’ welfare and Kerala’s aspiration to evolve as a global ease-of-doing-business destination.

Labour Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan said the government would discourage flash strikes. It had already stopped headload workers’ unions from charging “nookukooli” for unperformed manual labour.

The department has simplified the process of registration and licensing of businesses. The Minister hoped the new initiative would help dispel the notion that Kerala’s labour climate was inherently hostile to investors.

The policy views workers’ welfare as a social right and batted for good relations between employers and workers. It has proposed a basic minimum wage of ₹600 in all sectors and recommended the implementation of the Kerala Recognition of Trade Unions Act, 2010, to enhance the collective bargaining power of workers. Registration of headload workers will be Aadhaar-based.

Gender equality

The government has emphasised gender equality in employment and women-friendly workplaces.

Labour and Social Welfare Departments will work in tandem to ensure crèches at workplaces and provision for mothers to feed their babies. The State will eradicate child labour and rehabilitate its victims. It will create a labour pool of domestic workers.

The government will create a new law to regulate wage and service conditions for teaching and non-teaching staff in unaided educational institutions.

It will also enact a law to ensure government, quasi-government, and government-controlled institutions only fill temporary vacancies from the employment exchange pool.

The department will restructure employment exchanges. It will create an exclusive portal for skilled workers and conduct an audit to find out the genuinely jobless persons among those registered at the exchange. Foreign employers will be able to draw talent from employment exchanges. The Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Council will organise skill development programmes for youth and ensure their placement abroad.

A new health insurance and housing scheme will cover plantation workers. Government ITIs will restructure their courses to suit the future labour market. They will stop outdated courses.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 4:00:32 AM |

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