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GA Topper Series: PIB Gist : Ministry of Labour

1.What is the purpose of the labour codes?

Labour Codes strengthen the protection available to workers, including unorganized workers, in terms of statutory minimum wage, social security, working hours, healthcare, etc.

Social Security Code, 2020 provides for social security benefits for all workers including in unorganized sectors as well as gig and platform workers. Some of the new provisions envisaged in the Codes are as under:

  1. Setting up of Social Security Fund for formulating schemes for welfare of the unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers.
  2. Extension of coverage under Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to pan-India, i.e., in all districts in the country. [Note : Presently, the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme is fully implemented in 443 districts and partially implemented in 153 districts.]
  3. ESIC coverage on voluntary basis for establishments having less than 10 employees has been introduced.[Note : Mandatory for the establishments having more than 10 employees.]
  4. Benefits under ESIC can also be made applicable through notification to an establishment which carries on hazardous or life threatening occupation in which even a single employee is employed.
  5. Extension of benefits to unorganized workers, gig workers and platform workers and the members of their families through ESIC or Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
  6. For the persons engaged in Fixed Term Employment (FTE), the proportionate benefit of service has been extended without requirement of minimum service of 5 years for gratuity.  The  person having a contract for one year under FTE will also be eligible for gratuity.

There are 4 labor codes which are ; Labor code on wages, Labor code on Industrial Relations, Labor code on Social Security and Labor code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions.

Labor comes under the state list. Hence state governments have to draft rules under these codes. The present status of the code is that rules are drafted and open for public opinion in  various states.

2.How social security of Indians working abroad are governed?

Social Security concerns of Indians working abroad are governed by various conventions of International Labour Organization (ILO) and is operationalized through signing of social security agreements. The Social Security agreements protect the rights of International workers in terms of detachment, totalization and portability benefits.

Presently, India has signed social security agreements with 19 countries and 1 province (Quebec). Out of the total 20 agreements signed 19 have entered into force.

For fostering regular migration and to encourage the mobility of the workforce, India has been entering into Migration and Mobility Agreements with different countries. The agreement, inter-alia contains the provision regarding cooperation between two sides in fight against irregular migration and trafficking in human beings.

3. Union Minister For Labour & Employment Shri Bhupender Yadav participated in High Level Panel discussion in Geneva, organized by ILO under the World of Work summit on the sidelines of ILC meeting. The theme of the discussion was “Tackling multiple global crises: promoting human centered recovery and resilience”.

4. Ministry of Labour and Employmenthas started offering free online career skills training through its National Career Service (NCS) project for job-seekers registered with it.

  • NCS was launched in the year 2015
  • The NCS project reaches out to the people of this country through its three essential pillars which are
  1. A well designed ICT based portal which is NCS portal
  2. Country wide set up of Model Career Centers
  3. Interlinkage with all the states through employment exchanges.

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