Cabinet approves Industrial Relations Code Bill

Cabinet approves Industrial Relations Code Bill

NEW DELHI: The Centre approved on Wednesday the Industrial Relation Code Bill, which is the third code under labour reforms. The government wants to codify 44 central labour laws into four broad codes.

While the Code on Wages has already been approved by Parliament, the Labour ministry will push the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill in the Budget session. The Code on Social Security is in pre-legislative stage.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for introduction of the Industrial Relations Code, 2019, in Parliament, an official statement said.

The bill provides for setting up of a two-member tribunal (in place of one-member), thus introducing a concept that some of the important cases will be adjudicated jointly and the rest by a single-member resulting speedier disposal of cases.

It also provides for imparting flexibility to the exit provisions relating to retrenchment and others, for which the threshold for prior approval of appropriate government has been kept unchanged at 100 employees, but added a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification (executive order). That means there would be no need for Parliament approval. The threshold can be changed by executive order.

It also said the re-skilling fund is to be utilised for crediting to workers in the manner to be prescribed. The bill also provides for definition of Fixed Term Employment and that it would not lead to any notice period and payment of compensation on retrenchment excluded.

It also provides for vesting of powers with the government officers for adjudication of disputes involving penalty as fines thereby lessening the burden on tribunal.

The draft code on Industrial Relations has been prepared after amalgamating, simplifying and rationalizing the relevant provisions of three Central Labour Acts — the Trade Unions Act, 1926, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. PTI

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