The Centre on Saturday withdrew three Bills moved by the Labour Ministry in the Lok Sabha and reintroduced them with fresh labour code provisions as part of the labour reforms initiative.
The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019; Industrial Relations Code, 2019; and Code on Social Security, 2019 were withdrawn from the Lower House when it assembled for the day at 3 p.m.
Minister of State (independent charge) in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, moved the proposal for the withdrawal of these Bills and later reintroduced them with fresh provisions.
In his speech, Gangwar said various changes have been made in the provisions related to the labour Codes as well as their Preamble, necessitating their withdrawal and introduction of new ones.
"Because of various changes in the Bills, it is necessary to withdraw earlier ones and introduce Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020; Industrial Relations Code, 2020; and Code on Social Security, 2020 in their place."
The original Codes were introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2019 but later referred to the Parliament's Standing Committee on Labour, which discussed all the three.
"Standing Committee led by Chairman Bhartruhari Mahtab, a Biju Janata Dal MP from Cuttack, made 233 recommendations and we accepted 174 of them."
The Minister said all these changes in the new Bills are part of the labour reforms initiative. "When the country got independence, there were 44 labour laws. As some of them were later repealed, we are now working to change 29 labour laws into four Codes. This House passed the first Code with full support; we have come with three more Codes."
Later, the Minister said that his ministry held nine tripartite consultations, four sub-committee meetings, 10 regional conferences, discussed labour court provisions at various places in the country, 10 inter-ministerial consultations and also took suggestions from various departments and Ministries as well as the public.
Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019
The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019 aimed to consolidate and amend the laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions of the persons employed in an establishment. The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 23 last year.
The Industrial Relations Code, 2019 consolidated and amended the laws relating to trade unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishment or undertaking, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on November 28 last year.
The Code on Social Security, 2019 sought amendment and consolidated the laws relating to social security of the employees. The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 11 last year.