Labour ministry to organise training workshop for states on labour codes | Economy & Policy News

In a move to familiarise state governments with the new labour codes, the Ministry of Labour & Employment plans to conduct a training workshop for state government labour officials in the coming months, according to sources familiar with the matter.

“In our discussions with state officials, it has become evident that many have yet to fully grasp the objectives and complexities of the new labour codes. In some states, the draft rules formulated under these codes diverge in nature and scope from the central laws, rendering the entire exercise redundant. Therefore, a workshop to acclimatise and sensitise officials to the new codes is being considered in the coming months,” the source said.

The workshop aims to prepare states for the nationwide rollout of the labour codes, ensuring readiness and preempting legal challenges in the process. It also seeks to build on the consensus achieved during the labour ministers’ meeting in August 2022.

“Internal discussions have been ongoing at various levels between states and the central government over the past two years, leading to considerable progress. This workshop will build upon the outcomes of the previous ministerial conference held in Tirupati,” the source added.

A meeting with state labour secretaries and labour commissioners, chaired by central Labour Secretary Sumita Dawra, is scheduled for Thursday to review the draft state rules. The government aims to foster consensus and operationalise the codes at the earliest.

Earlier labour reforms, which were paused to avoid controversy before the general elections, have now resumed under the new government’s agenda to improve the ease of doing business and attract investments.

To streamline operations and move towards universal social security, the government consolidated 29 central labour laws into four labour codes: the Code on Wages, 2019; the Industrial Relations Code, 2020; the Code on Social Security, 2020; and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020.

According to a recent study by the government’s VV Giri National Labour Institute, 20 states and four Union Territories (UTs) have formulated rules under all four codes, while three states have rules under three codes. West Bengal, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Lakshadweep, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli are yet to formulate rules under any of the codes.

The study also highlights “too much” divergence in the rules framed by various states and UTs under the new labour codes, which contradict the fundamental principles and spirit of these codes.

First Published: Jun 18 2024 | 9:33 PM IST

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