No geographic limits, web-based labour inspections introduced

Economy


NEW DELHI: The government has removed geographic limits that had been imposed on labour inspectors, that had confined them to a fixed territory, and introduced the option of web-based electronic inspection as part of its reforms.

The ministry has widened the jurisdiction of inspectors or facilitators under the Wage Code Act and ensured that an employer has to deal with a single inspector for compliance instead of one under each labour law.

Previous labour laws on wages imposed local limits on inspectors, which officials said bred a nexus between them and employers and led to corruption.

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The move means an inspector in a city can be assigned to assess a company for compliance under the Wage Code in any other city, a government official told ET.

The Wage Code law empowers the government to notify a wider territory for an inspector, which could be done via randomised selection process.

The Code also allows the government to conduct web-based inspection and seek information electronically.

Parliament passed the Code on Wages Bill, 2019, last week, which allows the Centre to set a minimum statutory wage, a move expected to benefit 500 million workers.

This is the first in a series of four labour codes proposed in the government’s labour reform initiative. The minimum wage fixed by the Centre will no longer be based on employment but on geography and skills. The code seeks to ensure minimum wages along with timely payments to all employees and workers.

Many unorganised sector labourers including agricultural workers, painters, those working in restaurants and dhabas and chowkidars, who were outside the ambit of minimum wages, now have legislative protection of minimum wages.



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