New Delhi, 15/2 (Ao Bureau): In a major development, the Ministry of Labour and Employment is likely to bring four new labour codes soon. The proposed labour codes could provide companies with the flexibility of four working days in a week with an upper working limit to be 48 hours a week.
Labour and Employment Secretary Apurva Chandra said on Monday that “See, there will be a maximum of 48 hours of work in a week. If someone works for 8 hours a day, then there will be 6 working days per week. If a company opts for 12-hour working per day for its employees, it means four-day working and three holidays.”
“If daily working hours are increased, you will have to give the workers similar holidays also. There will be 5 or 4 working days if duty hours are increased. It will now be mutually agreed to by the employees and employers as to what is appropriate for them. No one will be able to work for 12 hours a day,” Chandra added.
The new labour laws will not compromise the interests of labourers and employees in any way, Chandra added. “Rules and regulations are now being framed on provisions related to working hours. There is no final word as yet. Once the rules are formulated, things will become more clear. The Ministry wishes to assure that establishments will not be able to exploit their employees at any cost.”
The government also proposes to provide free medical check-ups to workers through the Employees State Insurance Corporation, Chandra said.
“For the first time, all types of workers in the country will now get minimum wages. New schemes are being brought in for migrant labourers. Provident fund facility will be given to ensure social security to all kinds of labourers. All workers — in organised and unorganised sectors — will be covered by ESI. Women will be allowed to work in all kinds of trade, and allowed to do night shifts,” he said.
Chandra said that the implementation of codes on wages, industrial relations, occupational safety, health and working conditions and social security will ensure social security to all employees.
“Both central and state governments have the right to make their own rules on this subject. The state governments are independent to make rules and regulations according to their own conditions. However, in case of any confrontation, the rules of the Centre hold precedence,” he said.
“It will enable the collection of proper data on registration of workers in the unorganised sector, including migrants, to facilitate the formulation of policies on remunerative wages,” Chandra added.