New labour legislation to merge 44 laws under 4 categories

The government is planning a new labour legislation that would merge 44 labour laws under four categories. The four categories will be wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare, and industrial relations. The move is aimed at helping investors and accelerating growth.

Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar has said that a new Labour Bill will be introduced in the coming session of the Parliament. He also said the draft bill will be placed before the Union Cabinet after which it will be introduced in Lok Sabha, possibly in the second week of the coming Parliament session. He added that all major labour unions in the country were consulted by the government for the new labour laws.

It is expected that the laws related to social security, including the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, Employees' State Insurance Corporation Act, Maternity Benefits Act, Building and Other Construction Workers Act and the Employees' Compensation Act will be merged to create a single social security law or code. The Minimum Wages Act, the Payment of Wages Act, the Payment of Bonus Act, the Equal Remuneration Act and a few others are likely to be merged.

Several industrial safety and welfare laws such as the Factories Act, the Mines Act and the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, will be merged to create a single category on industrial safety and welfare. The Labour Code on Industrial Relations will combine Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.