The Cabinet has given its approval to the Worker Safety Code Bill which is likely to be placed in the Parliament soon.
- In India, there are thirteen labour laws that ensure safety in the workplace. By merging all these laws into a single law, the government is trying to enhance compliance.
- The code, ‘Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Safety Code Bill, 2019’, will be presented in the ongoing Parliament session.
- As per the government, the code will impact 40 crore unorganised sector workers.
- The sees to enhance the safety, health and working conditions across businesses by manifold.
- It will be applicable to all enterprises including the services sector where 10 or more workers are employed.
- For mines and docks, the code will be applicable even if there is one person working.
- The entity must provide an appointment letter mandatorily.
- Annual health checkups for the employees must be undertaken by the entity.
- There is a thrust on welfare provisions like providing creche facilities, first-aid, canteen and presence of a welfare officer.
- The bill calls on the courts to provide compensation for the victim or legal heirs of the victim if there is any incident leading to death or severe bodily harm to any person.
- Also, a part of the penalty should go to the rehabilitation of the injured worker or as financial support to the family of the deceased.
Women in Nightshifts
- Women are allowed to work in nightshifts only after taking consent from them
- The bill allows them to work between 7 p.m and 6 a.m subject to holidays, safety, or any conditions prescribed by the government.
Ease of Doing Business
- The bill not only helps the workers but also helps businesses in the form of a single licence.
- Earlier, out of the 13 labour laws six required separate registration.
- With eh proposed ‘one licence one return’ businesses will save considerable time and resources.
Safe and healthy working conditions are prerequisite to a productive workforce and economic growth of the country. The employers too will benefit from a more productive workforce and avoid loss due to any untoward incident.
In such a scenario, the Code has all the necessary provisions to keep the workplace safe, healthy and secure for the workforce. But, compliance by employers is the key to the successful implementation of the Code