Labour Reforms: Govt introduces industrial relations labour code Bill in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: The government on Thursday introduced the Labour Code on Industrial Relations, 2019 Bill in the Lok Sabha. The Bill aims to streamline industrial relations and consolidate and amend laws related to trade unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishments, and investigation and settlement of industrial disputes.

Moving the Bill, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar said, "The code has been prepared after wide consultations with trade union representatives, employers' organisations and state governments."

The Bill consolidates the essential elements of three laws--the Trade Unions Act, 1926, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947--helping improve ease of doing business.

As part of its initiatives on labour reform, the labour ministry has decided to amalgamate 44 labour laws into four codes--on wages, industrial relations, social security and safety, health and working conditions.

According to the code, which the Union Cabinet approved on Nov 20, fixed-term employees will get all statutory benefits, including social security and wages, on a par with regular employees whose work is the same or of a similar nature.

Under the code, the ministry has amended the definition of strike by bringing mass casual leave within its ambit. The code asserts that a union will be recognised only if it has the support of at least 75% of the workers. Besides, the requirement of a notice period of 14 days has also been incorporated for strikes and lockouts in any establishment.

The code retains the employee threshold at 100 and gives powers to the government to reduce or increase the threshold through notifications.

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