| 4 minutes read

4 minutes read

Check Out How Gujarat Is Boosting Worker’s Growth With Various Act Reforms

| Published on October 25, 2018

Where the Central Government is taking stringent measures in the retrenchment clause for factories that comprise of less than 300 workers, Gujarat has no big plans to consider the issue. Even a senior state Government Official said,

’’ We are conscious of the existing struggles and rights of industrial workers and would like to work towards them and not against them”.

This statement clearly creates a controversy as the state rules have no amendments made to the number of layoffs of the workers who are working in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) industrial units without government’s sanction.
Also, Gujarat Government when passed the Labor Laws Amendment Act in 2015, which stated increment of wages of retrenched workers from 45 days to 60 days.

Not only this, many other similar Acts saw changes made to their existing reforms such as the Minimum Wages Act 1948, Employees’ Compensations Act 1923, the Beedi & Cigar Workers Act 1966, the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, the Unorganized Workers’ Social Responsibility Act 2008, the Motor Transport Workers Act 1961, the Payment of Gratuity Act 1972, the Contract Labor (Regulations & Abolition) Act 1970, the Equal Remuneration Act 1976, and the building & Other Construction Workers Act 1996. All the changes were made by Vijay Rupani, who was the labor and employment minister at that time, while now he is the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Talking about some crucial changes made in some labor acts

Gujarat’s commendable efforts in different Labor Acts have been in favor of the workers to prevent them from exploitation and enhance their standard of Living.

In The Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the workers got their salary in the form of cash or any other kind earlier, however now after the reforms have successfully been passed; all the establishments that have more than 20 workers will now have their payment directly transferred to their bank accounts. It has helped in ensuring more transparency. Even the term ‘Employer’ now includes the outsourcing agencies into the definition which makes it compulsory for contractors who are now considered as Employers and will have to pay the minimum wages to the workers.

Also, in the reforms made in Employees Compensation Act, now a nominated government official can also apply for the compensation of a worker if the worker suffered a hazardous injury or any partial disability at the factory or area of work after 90 days from the date of the accident. Earlier only the workers or their family members could take charge and ask for the required compensation.

The state government of Gujarat is making the necessary steps to help faster settlements of any labor disputes using the out-of-court settlement procedure and bringing an increment on the fine amount. Many Acts that saw a provision for compounding of offenses include the Contract Labour Act, Industrial Disputes Act, Minimum Wages Act, Equal Remuneration Act, the Payment of Bonus Act, the Beedi Cigar Workers Act, the Payment of Gratuity Act, and the Motor Transport Workers Act.

However, this quick settlement method is opposed by the Opposition Party (Congress). The concern though seems to be a valid one as out-of-court settlements can prove to be a license that promotes owners to get away with their crime by just paying the fine amount without facing the trial. Thus, the step is proving to be a powerful one for the Industrialists and not empowering the labor class as now they would not be afraid to violate any labor laws knowing that they have an easy option to settle the matter.

Apart from this, Overall Gujarat is on the higher edge of development than other states owing to these measures that help in the growth of workers in an organized manner.

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