The draft, titled Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions have provisions for which the ministry has taken cues from 13 acts to prepare the draft regarding working conditions. The draft classifies workers from different sectors and has laid out guidelines for each sector separately. Some of the categories which factory workers, miners, dock workers, building and construction workers, plantation labour, contractual labour, working journalists, motor transport workers, beedi and cigar workers and cine and cinema theatre workers.
The draft also prescribes guidelines regarding the registration of companies. “Every employer of an establishment, employing ten or more employees, shall, register within a period of six months from such commencement or, as the case may be, from the date on which this Code becomes so applicable,” the draft states. However, offices attached to the state or central government are exempt from this registration process.
The draft also specifies duties for an employer to ensure that employees do not face hazards and remain healthy at their respective workplaces.
“Every employer shall ensure the periodical medical examination and prescribed tests of the employee employed in his establishment. Every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of the employees,” the draft says. Activists are all smiles about the development.
“Given the current scenario of the working conditions in the country, the draft is a positive sign. But in reality, there is a long way to go till it is implemented. The real improvement will come about only when it is passed and enforced properly,” Alka Singh of Nirman, ab NGO working for the welfare of workers said.
Source: New India Express