Government announces pension for families of Industrial workers who die due to Covid-19
29 May 2021: Union government announced pensions for families of industrial workers, enrolled with ESIC, who have died due to Covid-19. The pension will amount to 90% of the average daily wage of the deceased. It will be effective retrospectively from 24 March 2020 and for all such cases till 24 March 2022
Indian Railways plans to recover Risk Allowance disbursed to workers in hazardous jobs
27 May 2021: The Indian Railways has retrospectively rolled back hike in risk allowance. It is going to recover the hiked Risk Allowance paid to thousands of employees engaged in 12 categories of hazardous work across the country. The Ministry of Railways had revised the rate of Risk Allowance from ₹60 per month to ₹135 per month in 2018, effective from 1 July, 2017. According to this order, Indian railways will recover the ₹75 “excess” from 1 July, 2017 to November 2, 2020 and ₹45 “excess” from November 3, 2020 to the date of recovery.
Odisha: Government offers Rs. 10 Lakh compensation to kin of workers who die during cyclone Yaas restoration work
26 May 2021: Government-owned Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) will pay an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of workers who die while engaged in cyclone Yaas restoration works. In case of injury and hospitalisation, the full treatment cost will be borne by the company. State government announced an increase in minimum wage rates for workers engaged in electrical restoration works.
Uttar Pradesh: Government extends ESMA third time, virtually suspending labour laws giving pandemic excuse
26 May 2021: Uttar Pradesh government extended the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), banning strikes in all state government departments, corporations and authorities for a period of six more months for the third time in a row since May 2020. Although directly applicable to only the government sector, in effect ESMA restricts and criminalises strikes and union actions across sectors – public, private, essential or non-essential – as it gives unchecked draconian powers to law and order authorities to take action against workers and their organisations.
Union Labour Ministry notifies contentious draft rules and sections of new Labour Codes
05 May 2021: The government released draft rules for sections 14 and 22 of the Industrial Relations Code, 2020 on 4 May 2021. The rules impose arbitrary limitations on the criteria for trade unions to be recognised as the official negotiating body, while also limiting the “issues” which fall under the scope of collective bargaining. They also empower employers to appoint “verification officers” tasked with verifying the membership of trade unions for the purpose of recognition. These rules will work to potentially strip workers of their right to collectively negotiate with the management.
It has further notified section 142 of the Social Security Code, 2020 allowing the government to collect the Aadhaar details of workers. While the government has stated that Aadhaar details will only be collected to provide social security benefits to excluded workers, it also stated that no benefit will be denied to any worker for lack of their Aadhaar details.