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Thanks for sharing the Draft Labour Policy.
The 42 page document is more on rhetoric and less on results. The harassment of labour is out of non-implementation of scores of labour laws. The policy does not speak anything on how Govt of Maharashtra will:
a) speed up the cases in labour court
b) make staffs of ESI health centres more accountable (No 1 problem is that these staffs are not available, ESI funds are lying idle in the coffers of the Govt)
c) Monitor implementation of Grievance Redressal under the provisions of new ID Act 2010.
The policy document does not offer anything new and rather it gives semblance of a joint declaration made between the two heads of states.
Dinesh V Divekar
9th November 2010 From India, Bangalore
The portion of Maharashtra Govt Draft Labour Policy on Contract Labour is impressive which reads like this:
The issue of contract labour is one on which employers and unions are strongly
divided. Employers see contract labour as an essential component of labour market
flexibility that will contribute to economic efficiency and competitiveness. Trade
unions see contract labour as a form of exploitation and a means to deny workers
Contract labour must be distinguished from outsourcing of tasks to particular
entities for cleaning and security services, computer technology expertise, and
consultancy services. These are commercial contracts for service as between the
user and service-provider and fall outside the scope of labour legislation. The
provider-entity, however, is an employer and thus is required to comply with all
appropriate labour laws.
Out-sourcing and commercial contracts are not the real issue. The real issue is the
employment of labour, under contract, for specific durations or specific tasks as a
means of cost-cutting, or to provide flexibility, or as a substitute for jobs that would normally be regular and permanent.
The Department of Labour proposes to facilitate discussions with the social partners on the issue of contract labour with a view to deciding on a model that provides both fairness and flexibility. This may involve some discussion on possible amendments of existing laws as, for example, preventing employers from using lower-cost contract labour as a substitute for permanent workers, and by paying a loading to contract workers to compensate for their loss of benefits including leave and access to social security. It might also consider whether the current system of contracting agents as the employers of contract workers, as distinct from the direct employment of such workers by the principal employer, is in the best interests of works and employers.
The productivity of contract workers is also an issue for tripartite discussions.
The Department of Labour, through discussions with social partners as mentioned
above, would like to evolve models and/or structures through which a win-win
situation can be developed, both for the employers and the workers in a globalized
scenario. The win-win situation could be developed if the employer is given
flexibility to engage labour and the labour is ensured protection of rights. One such
proposal could also be to engage contract labour with a loading factor as a premium for flexibility.
It is also suggested that in order to develop a long term solution on contract
labour and develop models to meet the twin concerns of flexibility to industry and
fairness to labour, it may be necessary to go through a transition phase in which, the first step could be to study the present labour laws and their actual implementation to identify on what is incentivising contract labour and disguised employment? It would also be necessary to define fairness in terms of “equal treatment”. What is “equal treatment” would also have to be agreed upon more specifically between all social partners in a clear-cut manner.
Further, there would be need to work out solutions along with changes in law
if required, which would further the objective to reach towards the end goal of
increased productivity in a situation of ‘flexibility’ and ‘fairness’ as defined by ‘equal
We are optimistic to see how far the above is translated into Law.
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9th November 2010 From India, Bangalore