Why is it in the news ?
The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019 was introduced by the Labour and Employment ministry.
What is the objective of the proposed code ?
It is a compilation of the legislations with a prime purpose of setting standards for working conditions, ensuring safety measures for workers.
Proposed Labour Codes
- India had a plethora of labour laws often leading to conflicts, and disruptions in the economic activities. Keeping this in mind,
- The second National Commission of labour was set up in 1999.
- Among other recommendations it included simplification, and streamlining of existing Central labour laws.
- It also proposed doing away with redundant laws, and Consolidation of laws of similar nature.
- It proposed the following four codes to be developed.
- Labour Code on Wages
- Labour Code on Industrial Relations
- Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare
- Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions
What are the key provisions of the code ?
- Consolidation of Laws
- It seeks to repeal and replace 13 labour laws like Factories Act, 1948, the Mines Act, 1952, and the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, etc.
- It mandates a minimum headcount of 10 workers for this code to be applied.
- It undertakes within its purview all the mines and docks.
- It is not applicable to the workers who are in apprenticeship.
- It calls for mandatory registration of all establishments covered by the Code.
- It also provides vigilant inspections of establishments.
- Along with any hazard or accident will be thoroughly inquired.
- Board and Committees
- It provides for setting up of safety committees that comprise representatives from both ends i.e. Workers and Employers.
- It seeks to set up an Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board ,to make recommendations regarding rules and regulations, at both central and state levels.rules.
- Rights and responsibilities of the Employees
- Access to information related to occupational safety and health.
- Reporting of any lapses to the authorities.
- Compliance with the set standards of occupational safety.
- Responsibilities on part of Employers
- Ensure for a hazard free workplace.
- Free health checkups once in a year.
- Due Communication to authorities in the wake of any hazard, accident leading to death or injury.
- Compensation and penal provisions
- In case of death of an employee, a penal provision is mandated that includes imprisonment of up to two years, or a penal fine up to five lakh rupees, or both.
- Also, the Court of law may direct for compensation to the bereaved families out of the penalties accrued.