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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ministry of labour turns accountable & release First Annual Report of Employment - is it a hint for labour law reforms [also contains recent updates]

Ministry of Labour & Employment presents to the People of India

the First Annual Report on Employment

with the objective of generating a healthy public debate on the issue of creating quality employment with distributive justice. We solicit valuable comments and suggestions from the people on major issues highlighted in this Report specially those relating to the employment of youth, women and the disadvantaged groups.

Though the report contains most of old statistics with few recent statistics, it was good effort by the Ministry to consolidate as Ministry is accountable to labour by all means, and it is expected that there will be regular reports released to people atleast on yearly basis.  Few excerpts from the report are under:

There are three important categories of employed persons:
1. Regular Salaried/Wage Employees are those who work in others’ farm or non-farm enterprises (both household and non household) and in turn receive salary or wage on a regular basis. This category includes not only persons getting time wage but also persons receiving piece wage or salary and paid apprentices, both full time and part-time.
2. Casual Wage Labour: A person who is casually engaged in others’ farm or non-farm enterprises (both household and non-household) and, who in return, receives wages according to the terms of the daily or periodic work contract.
3. Self Employed: Persons who operate their own farm or non-farm enterprises or are engaged independently in a profession or trade on their own account or with one or a few partners are deemed to be self-employed. Self-employed persons are further categorised as follows:
a) Own-account Workers: Those self-employed persons who operate their enterprises on their own account or with one or a few partners and who, during the reference period, by and large, run their enterprise without hiring any labour.
b) Employers: Those self-employed persons who work on their own account or with one or a few partners and, who, by and large, run their enterprise by hiring labour.
c) Helpers in household enterprises: Those self-employed persons (mostly family members) who are engaged in their household enterprises, working full or part time and who do not receive any regular salary or wages in return for the work performed. They do not run the household enterprise on their own but assist the related person living in the same household in running the household enterprise


Recent Amendments in Labour Laws: Promoting Equity and Welfare

  • The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 amended to enhance the wage ceiling for its applicability. It is presently fixed at Rs. 10,000/- per month.
  • The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 amended to enhance the eligibility limit from Rs. 3,500/- per month to Rs. 10,000/- and calculation ceiling from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 3,500/- per month while making employees employed through contractors on building operations eligible for payment of bonus under the Act.
  • The Apprentices Act, 1961 amended, inter alia, to provide for reservation for other Backward Classes.
  • The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 amended to enhance the medical bonus from Rs. 250/- to Rs. 2,500/-and also empowering the Central Government to increase it from time to time before every three years, by way of notification in the Official Gazette, subject to a maximum of Rs. 20,000/-.
  • The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 amended to improve the quality of delivery of benefits under the scheme and also to enable ESI infrastructure to be used to provide health care to workers of the unorganised sector.
  • The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 amended for raising the ceiling of Gratuity for employees in the private sector to Rs. 10 lakh from Rs. 3.5 lakh.
  • The Plantations Labour Act, 1951 amended to provide safety and occupational health care to plantations workers.



Against the various challenges, a National Skill Development Policy has been formulated in February, 2009 which targets creating 500 million skilled people by 2022 with the following vision: Skill development should harness inclusivity and reduce economic and social divisions among Indian workforce particularly across rural-urban, male-female, organized- unorganized and traditional/ contemporary. Matching the emerging demands for skills across various industries and economic enterprises. Evolving National Vocational Qualification Framework comparable with international standards. Developing standard certification system by recognizing and including quality skills acquired through any informal system of learning. Greater and more active role for workers‟ organizations, industry, civil society, Panchayati Raj Institutions and other professional bodies. Greater reduction of poverty through enhanced earnings of skilled workers.

Download the First Report of Employment (Report to People)


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