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New labour code on Social Security has not been able to address overlapping definitions

05 Oct 2020 12:00 AM

Three of the four labour code bills (the Code on Wages, 2019 had been passed last year), that comprise the government’s flagship labour reforms, were passed by the Rajya Sabha on September 23, after they were introduced in the upper house on the same day. Introducing the laws in the upper house, junior labour minister Santosh Gangwar said the new labour reform laws will provide a “safe environment” for workers. “Social security benefits have also been added. This will be in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolve for universal social security,” he added. The bills were passed in the Upper House by voice vote amid boycott by the opposition over suspension of eight parliamentarians given their unruly behaviour.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has notified the three labour codes, passed by Parliament, after securing the nod of President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday.

The Social Security Code Bill, 2020, proposes a National Social Security Board which recommends the central government to formulate suitable schemes for different sections of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers.

The Code on Social Security, 2020 consolidates nine different central laws: The Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948, The Maternity Benefit Act,1961, The Building and other Construction Workers Cess Act, The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, The Employees Exchange (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959, The Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981, The Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008, Employees Compensation Act, 1923.

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