Contract labour regime expanded in new Labour Codes, Industry Experts
New Delhi, Nov 30 (KNN) New Labour Codes have expanded the scope of engaging contract labour said industry experts during a virtual session organised by the All India Organisation of Employers (AIOE) with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
The session themed 'Position of the Contract Labour under Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020' was organised on Friday to deliberate on the new Labour Codes particularly the contract labour dynamics.
Dr Rajen Mehrotra, Former Sr. Specialist Employers Activities ILO and Former HR Head ACC Ltd said that there has been an increase in the number of informal workers working in the formal sector.
"Enterprises mostly increased hiring contract labour after the Supreme Court's verdict on 30 August 2001 (Steel Authority of India Ltd and others v/s National Union Waterfront Workers and others)," he said.
He further added that for the first time CORE activities have been defined under the OSH and working conditions Code2020.
"Now the principal employer will be responsible for providing welfare facilities to contract labour. Under section 1(5)-(c), SEZs were exempt from The Contract Labour (R&A) Act as many activities performed were deemed to be considered temporary or intermittent. This does not exist in the new Code," Dr Mehrotra asserted.
Michael Dias, Secretary, The Employers Association, Delhi and Eminent Lawyer said that the earlier law had Prohibition and Abolition which has been removed in the new Code.
"The provisions of contract and migrant labour will now be fully applicable not only to private enterprises but also to the offices of State government and Central government under which they will be treated as principal employers. The contractor will now have to issue appointment letters to its contract/migrant labours," he added.
Dias also said that in case there is a shortage of payment by the contractor then the principal employer will have to pay for the shortfall and the same can be adjusted from contractor's payments.
"There is also a provision where the contractor has to deposit security money to the licensing authority and the licencing officer can adjust the shortfall of payments by adjusting it against the security money deposited," he noted.
"There is no long-term liability for engaging contract labour, but it comes as a cost. Many of the contract labourers opt for permanency claims," said Kaviraj Singh, Managing Director, TA Netgables Pvt. Ltd.
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