Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced changes in labour codes. She said the government is looking at universalisation of the right of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all workers including unorganised workers — presently minimum wages applicable to only 30 per cent of workers.

Sitharaman stated, “We are committed to making it better for the workers and the worker is top on our agenda.”

She said that there should be a statutory concept of National Floor Wage which will reduce regional disparity in minimum wages. “We will engage with all states for the same.” This is to reduce disparity in wages across the States.

She has stated that appointment letters for all workers should be given. “This is to bring them into the organised sector.”

Union minister has called for an annual health check-up for employees

She hinted that the government is looking at reducing 44 labour laws into four codes. “We hope to pass it after it is passed by all the standing committees.”

The ministers stated that the definition of inter-state migrant worker will be modified to include migrant workers employed directly by the employer, workers directly coming to the destination state of their own (besides the migrant workers employed through a contractor).

Sitharaman said that mandatory ESIC coverage through notification by the Central Government for employees who are working in hazardous industries (with less than 10 employees).

Social security will be extended to gig workers and platform workers. “Re-skilling fund introduced for retrenched employees. So, that the people who lost jobs get employed,” said the minister.

The provision of gratuity should be made on completion of one year service as against 5 years.

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Free Press Journal