Labour Ministry holds tripartite stakeholder consultation with industry chambers and trade unions

The labour ministry on Thursday held a tripartite stakeholder consultation with industry chambers and trade unions seeking their view on the labour codes. The government wants to finalise the rules of the four codes by next month and implement the codes from April 1, 2020.

The four codes, which have been passed by the Parliament, include the Code on Wages, the Industrial Relations Code, the Social Security Code and the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions

The meeting was, however, confirmed to the Wage Code and the Code on Industrial Relations.

The next round of stakeholder consultations on the Social Security Code and the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions will be held on January 12.

While the industry has sought clarity on the definition of wages under the Code which caps allowances at 50% of the salary, trade unions have urged the government to consider allowances as part of the salary for computing statutory deductions.

“The term total remuneration should be clearly defined so as to avoid any confusion and ensure simplicity and smooth implementation,” the Confederation of Indian Industry has said, suggesting the government clarify with illustrations the various components under the new wege definition as per the Code.

Further, CII has suggested the government exclude employees employed in supervisory, managerial, administrative capacity from the overtime provisions which is double the wage rate, saying these class of workers are ordinarily paid high salaries and a provision will result in increased financial burden on the employer.

The Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh has urged the labour ministry to scrap the proposed 12 hour spread over work while including all allowances as part of the salary and not capping it at 50%. Besides, the RSS-affiliate trade unions suggested the government remove the upper limit and threshold of the bonus. “Only overtime with double wages should be provided,” it said after the meeting.

Further, BMS has suggested a family should consist of 6 units for the purpose of calculating minimum wages instead of 3.6 proposed by the last committee on minimum wages and minimum wages should be revised once in five years.

BMS also expressed its opposition to certain provisions of the Industrial Relations Code including limiting the negotiating power of trade unions and limitations on resorting to strike, it said.