Labour welfare: Government policies, Schemes and programmes
Objectives of Labour Welfare
In the beginning humanitarianism and social awareness motivated labour welfare activities. Driven by the desire for greater efficiency and out put from workers and with a view to attract better workers, employers lured them into their Organisation through labour welfare measures.
Further, some of the few issues tackled by labour welfare measures are as stated below. Such labour welfare measures persuade workers to accept mechanization and some times labour welfare measures were used by the employers as a tool to combat the outside agencies on their employees.
Labour welfare measures are often undertaken to avoid paying of tax on surplus and simultaneously building up good relations with the employee.
Some times labour welfare measures are undertaken to meet the minimal requirements that is followed by other organisations in the industry.
Need and Scope of Labour
Welfare Labour welfare has become essential because of the very nature of the industrial system and the approaches to this system differ from country to country. Since our country is still going through the process of economic development, it is of great consequence and somewhat easier to counteract the baneful effects of the industrial revolution that has adversely affected the people all over the world.
In free India, the labour movement and trade unions should be in a position to assume larger responsibilities in the context of new scenario and challenges which are coming up on the advent of 21st century. One of the main tasks in the Five Year Plans is to evolved practical ways in which they can make an increasing contribution to national development and national policy.
Economic progress of a country is bound up with industrial place. Industrial relations are, therefore, not a matter between employers and employees alone, but a vital concern of the community which may be expressed in measures for the protection of its larger interests.
Salient Features of Labour Legislations
Another principle on which labour legislation is based on social equity. Legislation based on social justice fixes a definite standard for adoption for the future, taking into consideration the events and circumstances of the past and the present.
In an industrial set up, social justice means an equitable distribution of profits and benefits accruing from industry between industrialists and workers and affording protection to the workers against harmful effect to their health, safety and morality.
International uniformity is another principle on which labour laws are based. The important role played the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O) is praiseworthy. The main aims of the I.L.O. are to remove injustice, hardship and privation of large masses of toiling people all over the world and to improve their living and working conditions and thus establish universal and lasting peace based upon social justice.
National Policy on Skill Development
Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. Countries with higher and better levels of skills adjust more effectively to the challenges and opportunities of world of work. Potentially, the target group for skill development comprises all those in the labour force, including those entering the labour market for the first time (12.8 million annually), those employed in the organized sector (26.0 million) and those working in the unorganized sector (433 million) in 2004-05. The current capacity of the skill development programs is 3.1 million. India has set a target of skilling 500 million people by 2022.
Shram Suvidha portal
The Unified Shram Suvidha Portal is developed to facilitate reporting of Inspections, and submission of Returns. The Unified Shram Suvidha Portal has been envisaged as a single point of contact between employer, employee and enforcement agencies bringing in transparency in their day-to-day interactions. For integration of data among various enforcement agencies, each inspectable unit under any Labour Law has been assigned one Labour Identification Number (LIN).
Employees Compensation (Amendment) Act,2017
The Employees Compensation (Amendment) Act, 2017 received the President’s assent on April 12, 2017. It was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August, 2016, and amends the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923. The main amendments introduced by the Act are:
- The employer needs to inform an employee of his rights to compensation under the Act in writing as well as through electronic means. Failure to do so will make the employer liable to penalty.
- Penalties have been increased from a maximum of Rs. 5000 to a definite penalty of Rs. 50,000 which may extend to Rs. 1 lakh.
- The minimum amount involved in a dispute for which an appeal may be filed with the High Court has been increased from Rs. 300 to Rs. 10,000, or such higher amount as the Central Government may, by notification, specify.
- Appeals can be made against orders related to compensation, distribution of compensation, award of penalty or interest, etc. only if the amount in dispute is at least three hundred rupees.
- Under the original Act, if an employer has appealed against a Commissioner’s order, any payments towards the employee can be temporarily withheld. The Commissioner may do so only by an order of the High Court, until the matter is disposed of by the Court. The Amendment Act deletes this provision.