The Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh on May 7 decided to suspend major labour laws for the next three years to attract foreign investors after the pandemic situation improves.
The UP government has retained around one-fourth of the total laws that existed to safeguard the rights of the working class. The changes to temporarily drop more than 30 labour laws were affected after consultation with a group of ministers, including MSME Minister Sidharth Nath Singh and Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya.
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Let us take a look at the laws being retained: Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1976, Workmen Compensation Act of 1923, Building and Other Construction Workers’ Act of 1996, Maternity Benefit Act of 1961, Equal Remuneration Act of 1976, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986, Section 5 of the Payment of Wages Act of 1936, which guarantees timely payment of wage to the workers.
Labour rights that are being suspended include all those that guarantee the occupational health, safety and welfare of workers under various Acts such as the Factories Act of 1948, Contract Labour Act of 1970, Minimum Wages Act of 1948, and the Payment of Bonus Act of 1965.
Besides, other guarantees of the Payment of Wages Act such as fixation of wage period, payment of wages without any deductions except those authorised by the Act are also suspended.
Laws related to settling industrial disputes, which covers any dispute between employer and employees connected to the terms of employment, working condition etc., covered under the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, will also remain suspended in the coming years.
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Laws protecting migrant labourers under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act of 1979 will be suspended. These laws protect inter-state workers from exploitation like them working long hours, industrial accidents, exposure to hazardous materials, not granting holidays, unhygienic conditions, etc. It also ensures they are provided suitable residential accommodation, protective clothing, free medical facilities, etc.
In the three-year period, the Trade Unions Act of 1926 will also remain suspended and no labourer will be allowed to avail the various immunities and privileges guaranteed by such organisations, such as collective bargaining, strikes and lockouts, political interference of unions during bargaining, etc.To follow our full coverage on coronavirus, click here