Government forms committee to probe violation of Contract Labour

Government forms committee to probe violation of Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act at ports and docks

24 September 2019: Government has set up a six member committee to investigate rampant violation of Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1971 across docks and ports. The members of the committee include representatives from the Ministry of Railways, Coal India, trade unions and employers with the secretary of the Central Advisory Contract Labour Board appointed as convener.

Third draft of Social Security Code tabled by Ministry of Labour

20 September 2019: Ministry of Labour and Employment circulated the third draft of Social Security Code for consultation and suggestions. In the proposed code government has done away with provision of universal coverage of social security schemes like Employee Provident Fund and Employee State Insurance. The code’s first draft was tabled in April, 2017 which proposed social security coverage for all workers including self-employed workers and workers in enterprises that employ less than 10 workers.

MNREGA wages to be linked to annually updated consumer price indices

18 September 2019: Aiming to increase rural incomes so as to rejuvenate rural demand, the Government has decided to peg wages paid under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to annually updated consumer price indices for rural areas (CPI-R) or agricultural labourers (CPI-AL) whichever is higher. According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey, market wages for men in 2017-18 were higher than MGNREGA wages by 74%, while for women, it was a 21% gap. Raised wages are estimated to increase MNREGA expenditure by 10% (₹15,000 – ₹20,000 crore). At present, the national average wage of an MGNREGA worker is ₹178.44 per day, less than half of the ₹375 per day minimum wage recommended by a Labour Ministry panel earlier this year.

DoPT issues notice regarding equal pay for equal work

14 September 2019: Department of Personnel and Training has issued notice to all concerned departments to abide by the Supreme Court judgement in the case of Jagjit Singh & Ors. vs. State of Punjab and pay contract workers employed by Central government at par their permanent counterparts. Central government employs over 10 lakh contract workers.

Maharashtra: Government raises minimum wages for factory workers after 9 year gap

9 September 2019: The Maharashtra government has doubled the minimum wages of factory workers after a nine year gap. The last minimum wage committee was formed in the year 2010. The revised monthly minimum wages are as follows:

  Area A Area B Area C
Unskilled ₹ 10,350 ₹ 9,705 ₹ 9,000
Semi-Skilled ₹ 11,445 ₹ 10,800 ₹ 10,160
Skilled ₹ 12,605 ₹ 11,770 ₹ 11,255

Revised wages will be applicable in over 3,700 factories in the state and over 25 lakh factory workers.

Assam: Government to subsidize medical care in tea plantations

25 September 2019: The Assam government will provide 142 essential drugs, 47 surgical items, 45 consumables/linens and six disinfectants free of cost to the 651 tea garden hospitals in the state. According to the Plantation Labour Act, 1951 maintenance of tea garden hospitals and healthcare of workers are the responsibility of the employer and/or the owner of plantation. The scheme will further subsidize tea plantations that have been denying workers a fair minimum wage and bonus while amassing huge profits themselves. An amount of ₹20 crore has been earmarked for the scheme.

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