People Supply Chain: Working Towards Formalisation of the Workforce – India Employer Forum Webinar #6

India has a large informal sector, with over 80% of the workforce employed in the informal sector. This informal sector lacks job security, and social security, and is not fully supported by existing labour laws. In order to address this issue, the Indian government has implemented various programs including the proposed new labour codes. However, the progress could have been faster, and there is a need for further efforts to expedite the formalisation of the workforce.

In the webinar on 25th May 2023, eminent corporate leaders had a productive discussion on this topic, highlighting the need to formalise the workforce and people supply chain.

The objective of the webinar is to discuss the need to optimise the cost, quality and quantity of the people supply chain and focus on improving the quality of life and working conditions of our labour force. The webinar aims to provide a platform for industry experts and policymakers to share their insights on the current status of the workforce in India, the challenges faced in formalising the workforce, and the need to focus on skill development to consolidate India’s position as the ‘skill capital of the world’.

The webinar had three eminent industry experts who shared their views around addressing the importance of optimising the cost, quality, and quantity of the people supply chain. Dr Runa Maitra, Founder and Director of People Talent International, moderated the session.

To share his views on the topic, one of the speakers Yogi Sriram, Advisor to CEO & MD, Group HR, L&T said, “The first time legislation was made about the unorganised sector was in 2008 and it was called the inaugural certification security order, but in that particular act there was a master-servant relationship that was defined between the employer and the employee. As technology progresses and with tools such as AI and machine learning, and also with a lot of repetitive tasks disappearing, I think the whole universe of jobs is going to get redefined”.

The webinar also had Dr. Rajani Tewari, Chief People Officer, GreenCell Mobility as a speaker. Rajani added valuable points to the discussion. She said, “In the kind of industry I am in currently, formalising a workforce is more to do with a sense of belongingness for these people. It is also to provide better facilities in terms of what you do in the whole system. Today, formalising a Workforce is more to do with governance.

The third expert on the panel was Kartik Narayan, CEO – Staffing, TeamLease Services Limited. Kartik had some very useful insights. He said, “There’s something called Okun’s law, which says a 1% increase in GDP growth reduces unemployment by 2%. So, if you really flip it back and say, if you’re able to reduce unemployment by formalising a lot of Workforce that’s definitely going to contribute to an increase in GDP and therefore economic growth. A formalised workforce would mean better productivity, more sales, more investment back into the business and more growth. So, the way I look at it is I think both from the employer and employee point of view is going to be a force multiplier right as the economy gets more formalised.

The panel discussion ended with a Q&A session where members of the audience, mostly HR professionals from various companies, enthusiastically posed their queries to the panel members.

The India Employer Forum webinar on People Supply Chain: Working Towards Formalisation of the Workforce was relevant for the time and had leaders who added value to the discussion by bringing in different perspectives.

View the entire session here: IEF Webinar #6 | People Supply Chain: Working Towards Formalisation of the Workforce

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