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Govt. to Move Labour Laws Amendments
Aug 05, 2014

Union Cabinet has approved proposals to amend three labour laws including the Factories Act to make them more compatible and beneficial for labourers and the government is likely to table it in the present session of the Parliament. The other two proposals cleared by the cabinet include amendment of the Apprentices Act, 1961 and the Labour Laws (exemption from furnishing returns and maintaining registers by certain establishments) Act, 1988.

The key changes proposed in the Apprenticeship Act include dropping the clause that mandates imprisonment of company directors that fail to implement the Apprenticeship Act of 1961 and doing away with an amendment proposed by the former government mandating employers to absorb at least half of its apprentices in regular jobs besides adding 500 new trades and vocations under the scheme, including skills for services sectors like IT-enabled services.

Proposed changes under the amendment to the Factories Act include improved safety of workers; doubling the provision of overtime from 50 hours a quarter to 100 hours in some cases and from 75 hours to 125 hours in others involving work of public interest; increasing the penalty for violation of the Act; relaxing the norms of female participation in certain industry segments; and reducing to 90 from 240 the number of days that an employee needs to work before becoming eligible for benefits like leave with pay.

The amendments to Labour Laws Act, 1988 will allow companies to hire more employees without having to comply with cumbersome labour law requirements as it has been proposed that companies with 10-40 employees will now be exempt from provisions under labour laws that mandate them to furnish and file returns on various aspects. The current threshold is up to 19 employees. 


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