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Legislations, The Law

Four Labour Codes

The article deals with a view to reform the archaic labour laws and to facilitate the ease of doing business in India, the Government of India had decided to consolidate twenty-nine (29) central labour laws into four (4) labour codes.

By: Shefali Jha, 2nd Year, B.A.LL. B, New Law College, Pune.


On 23rd September 2020, the Rajya Sabha passed three labour codes which is, The Industrial Relations Code, The Social Security Code and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code. The central government proposes to replace 25 existing labour laws with four codes. The goal is to rearrange and modernise labour regulation. The major challenge in labour reforms is to encourage employment growth while protecting worker’s rights.

The Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020

It has defined between-state migrant workers as the worker who has gone ahead on his own from one state & acquired work in another state, earning up to Rs 18,000/month. 

The proposed definition makes a distinction from the present definition of just authoritative work.

It will merge and amend the laws managing the work-related safety, wellbeing and working conditions of persons employed in an establishment and related matters.

The government has, under the code, permitted single licence for staffing firms to hire workers on contract across various locations rather than multiple licences needed earlier.

It has expanded the threshold limit of contractor employees from 20 to 50 under OSH Code.

The Code on Social Security, 2020

It means to accommodate for universal social security to all workers, including the unorganised and the gig and platform workers.

These together record for over 90% of India’s total workforce estimated at 50 crores. 

It proposes a National Social Security Board which will be prescribed to the central government for figuring suitable schemes for various sections of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers.

Also, aggregators employing gig workers should contribute 1-2 per cent of their annual turnover for social security.

The Industrial Relations Code, 2020

It tries to consolidate and revise laws identifying with Trade associations, states of work in modern foundations or undertaking, examination and settlement of mechanical questions. 

The legislature has raised the cut-off on number of representatives required in an association 

For preservation and conclusion of foundations without government endorsement to 300 from 100, essentially improving the straightforwardness of firing for representatives. 

For instance, the IR code suggests that no individual utilized in a mechanical foundation will go on strike without a 60-day notice, And during the pendency of procedures before a council or a National Industrial Tribunal and sixty days after the completion of such procedures. 

Hence, extending the lawfully allowable time before the labourers can go on a legitimate strike, making a lawful strike well-near inconceivable. 

Starting at now, an individual utilized in a public utility help can’t picket except if he withdraws from a strike inside about a month and a half before protesting or inside 14 days of giving such notification, which the IR Code as of now proposes to apply for all the modern foundations. 

In reality, these work codes set up by law acknowledgment of an influx of piecemeal endeavor by which state governments have been working on key work laws under the position conceded to them in the simultaneous rundown inside which work falls. Intermittent changes to the Industrial Disputes Act, Factories Act, Industrial Employment Act, and so on by a few states, just as various leader orders passed at the state and focal level in the proposal to draw in unfamiliar and homegrown speculation, are notable. 

Clearly, most of the changes have zeroed in on presenting self-insistence of businesses’ consistency with work laws in little and miniature modern foundations, and the exception of these foundations from the ambit of pivotal work laws. In 2014, the Labor Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Act was revised to change the importance of “little” foundations to cover units utilizing a bigger number of workers than the principal piece of enactment. Presently, with the Central Acts being changed and supplanted by the new work codes, the security offered by the law to laborers of bigger foundations stand eliminated. 

In certified terms, the fundamental push of the new work codes is the speculation of a perspective of work capital relations, which relies upon diminished state intercession or liberation, and its conclusion, bipartite mechanical relations. 

Nonetheless, with reformist governments consistently pulling out from guideline of contemporaneous mechanical relations, the region of the work environment is looked to be decreased to a private space in which bosses will yield improved capacity to singularly fix the compensation, remove extra time, oversee leaves, decide remuneration, recruit and fire, and so on Once inside the workplace, work will be under the sweeping authority of businesses. Given that work, the review has moved towards the self-affirmation system and outsider examination by the business, the private intensity of managers is even more expected to develop with the implementation of the work codes. Starting now and into the foreseeable future, state intercession will be restricted to the utilization of the criminal law system to check work distress; a pattern which is now rising. 

The quick result of liberation is the speculation of the exceptionally abusive worldview of work relations run of the mill of the casual area. In the casual area where a piece of lion’s share of common people is laboring in labor-concentrated, lower-section occupations, the nonattendance of the state has sustained the state of semi authoritative forces of bosses over the work contract. Presently, obviously, such improved private intensity of managers as for the work agreement will be the norm over a huge portion of the formal sector as well.


Introduction of the labour codes to streamline the various labour laws is a very good initiative. The Codes clearly characterize the rights and liabilities of employers and employees and lay down proper dispute resolution mechanisms. The Social Security Code has taken a creative step by including aggregators within its ambit.

The Codes will certainly help coordinate the labour laws, it experiences some conflicts, inconsistencies and loopholes, which should be accommodated before its enforcement to prevent future legal conflicts.



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