two delivery workers looking towards the Indian supreme court

Supreme Court issues notices to government and tech companies in social security for gig workers’ case

Wages cannot be discriminated on account of employment on compassionate ground: Supreme Court

28 December, 2021: The bench of Justices M. R. Shah and B. V. Nagarathna upheld the judgement of Allahabad High Court where it had directed the Uttar Pradesh state authorities to pay equal wages to an employee hired on compassionate grounds. The division bench observed that there cannot be two different pay-scales for the employee appointed on compassionate ground and the employee appointed on regular basis, thereby reiterating the rule of equal pay for equal work.

Telangana: HC issues notice to government officers over death of safai karmcharis in manholes

23 December, 2021: A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice N Tukaramji issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration, GHMC Commissioner, Labour Commissioner, District Collector and the Managing Director, HMWS&SB and asked them to file detailed counters by 4 January, 2022 after death of two workers while cleaning septic tank of an apartment in Hyderabad came to light due to newspaper reports.

Delhi: High Court directs Labour Courts to follow uniform practice for deciding inquiry related issues as preliminary issue

25 December, 2021: A Delhi High Court bench comprising of Justice Pratibha M Singh observed that in matters related to inquiry conducted against the workman by the management Labour Court ought decide the issue of the validity of the domestic inquiry as a preliminary issue. Whether the inquiry was biased, unfair and not in consonance with the principles of natural justice shall now be adjudicated by the Labour Court in the first place and depending upon the outcome of the said issue, the matter would proceed further before the Labour Court. Justice Singh ordered the copy of the order be circulated to all Labour Courts so that a uniform practice could be followed in this regard.

Supreme Court issues notices to government and tech companies in social security for gig workers’ case

14 December, 2021: Supreme Court has admitted the petition filed by the Indian Federation of App-based Transport (IFAT) Workers and issued notices to the government and tech companies such as Ola, Uber, Swiggy and Zomato to file their replies in the matter relating to social security for workers engaged in informal work as per the Unorganised Workers’ Social Welfare Security Act, 2008. IFAT has further asked the top court to direct the government to include the option of registering gig workers on the E-SHRAM portal.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issues advisory for identification and rehabilitation of bonded labourers

15 December, 2021: The NHRC issued fresh advisory on rescue and rehabilitation of bonded labour to Centre, State and Union territory governments. It has recommended that:

  • district-level functionaries go out in the field to identify sites of bonded labour beyond brick kilns
  • district administration bear the expense of providing food and safe transport facilities to the rescued workers
  • non-cash assistance be provided under CSS-2016 which includes allotment of house-site and agricultural land, land development, provision of low-cost dwelling units, animal husbandry, dairy, poultry, piggery, etc., wage employment, enforcement of minimum wages, collection and processing of minor forest products, supply of essential commodities under targeted public distribution system and education to children.
  • release of relief packages to the victims of bonded labour be de-linked from the outcome of criminal proceedings to avoid delays.

Odisha: High Court orders state government to file affidavit listing steps taken to end manual scavenging

07 December, 2021: A division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice A K Mohapatra issued fresh direction to the state government to file an affidavit listing out the steps it has taken so far to implement, in letter and spirit, the various provisions of The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation it had registered suo motu on 19 April, 2021 in connection with the death of 2 sanitation workers in separate incidents in Cuttak and Bhubaneswar.

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