President gives assent to the Labour Codes
30 September 2020: Three labour codes – The Code on Social Security 2020, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Condition Code 2020, and the Industrial Relations Code 2020 which were passed by both the houses amid boycott from the opposition during the recently concluded monsoon session of the Parliament have received President’s assent and would now be notified in the gazette for public information. The labour codes have been opposed by workers and their unions from the time they were first proposed in 2015 for doing away with provisions regarding labour welfare and favouring the employers. With the passing of the codes 44 existing labour laws have been repealed.
West Bengal: Government to launch housing scheme for tea garden workers
29 September 2020: West Bengal government launched the Chai Sundari on 28 September 2020 under which pucca (brick houses) will be built for homeless tea workers from sick tea gardens within the next 3 years. In the first phase a total of 3,694 houses will be built across 7 sick tea gardens in Jalpaiguri (1,053) and Alipurduar (2,641) districts. The scheme is set to cost the government Rs.500 crores.
Telangana: Government exempts contractors and employers from renewing license for hiring contract workers
24 September 2020: Telangana government has amended 2 labour laws – the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act and The Contract Labour Act exempting contractors and employers employing contract workers from renewing required licenses for supplying or hiring contract workers. Contractors and employers are now eligible for ‘auto-renewal’ upon payment of licensing fee without having to furnish any documents.
Rajasthan: MNREGA workers to get benefits under BOCW welfare board
23 September 2020: Workers engaged in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) will get the construction labourer cards on the completion of 90 days of work in a year. The cards will entitle them to the benefits of various social security benefits laid under the Rajasthan Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. Rajasthan government has set the target of creating 37 crore man-days in 2020-21 under MNREGA, the highest in the country.
Jharkhand: Government to conduct social audits to boost MNREGA work
18 September 2020: To tackle the unemployment crisis triggered by migration of workers back to their villages due to the lockdown Jharkhand government has decided to conduct social audit to boost work under MNREGA. Earlier, work demand was generated through Rozgaar Sewaks who were posted in every Panchayat to spread awareness regarding the scheme, receive applications for work and payments after completion of the work. Work generation was suffering in the state as the Rozgaar Sewaks were overburdened with other tasks. Social Audit is aimed at separating demand generating and implementing agencies and streamlining the process.
Odisha: Government launches welfare scheme for Safai Karmcharis
12 September 2020: The Odisha government has launched Garims scheme with a corpus fund of Rs.50 crores for welfare of Safai Karmcharis. Under the scheme the government will carry out a survey of safai karmcharis in 114 Urban Local Bodies and thereafter constitute a state commission for welfare of sanitation workers which will:
- Ensure skilling of Safai Workers
- Introduce a special wage category for Safai workers inclusive of risk and hardship allowance
- Provide financial assistance to the family in case of injury or death
- Provide financial assistance in the form of house grant or purchase of two-wheelers to the extent of 90% of the cost
- Ensure health and life insurance, disability support, periodic health check-ups and educational support