NEW DELHI: Amid boycott from major opposition parties, including Congress, Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed three important labour code bills — the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, the Industrial Relations Code, and the Code on Social Security.
The bills provide for social security to workers in organised and unorganised sectors while consolidating 29 labour laws under four codes. The bill was supported by TDP, JD(U), BJD and YSR Congress.
Replying to the debate, labour minister Santosh Gangwar said the objective of the bills was to provide a healthy and safe working environment to 50 crore workers. He said the bills consolidated and amended laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions of people employed in establishments. The bills also consolidate laws related to trade unions and conditions of employment in industrial units. The bills will be taken up by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The Code on Social Security consolidates laws relating to social security with the goal of extending social security to all employees and workers either in the organised sector or the unorganised sector. BJP MPs, taking advantage of the opposition’s absence, said Congress had failed to move on the issue when it was in office.
Gangwar said those who walked out of the House had done little for workers when they were in office. The consolidation of all labour laws under four codes was done after extensive consultations with state governments and other stakeholders, he added.
The minister said the government had incorporated three-fourths of the recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee, which scrutinised the codes, in the bills.
On Saturday, Gangwar had introduced the three labour code bills in the House. A fourth bill on Code on Wages was passed earlier.
Pinaki Misra of BJD suggested that the new labour codes could have provided for minimum health and safety standards. He sought a relook at the definition of ‘workers’. Margani Bharat of the YSR Congress supported the bills and said the codes would push forward ease of doing business in the country as well as help in attracting more foreign direct investment.