The incessant violation of the workers’ rights in the name of labour reforms under the current political establishment has hit another low. The NDA government has already been making amendments in labour laws in order to push its programmes like ‘Make-in-India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Ease of doing Business’ thereby enabling companies to work in India and squeeze labour. The Central Ministry for Labour and Employment is also consolidating 43 labour laws into 4 major laws. In this backdrop, recently on 10th August 2017, a bill called the Code on Wages Bill 2017 was introduced in the Lok Sabha. The proposed legislation intends to “subsume, amalgamate, simplify and rationalize” the relevant provisions of the following four central labour enactments relating to wages, namely, (a) Payment of Wages Act, 1936; (b) Minimum Wages Act, 1948; (c) Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and (d) Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. The proposed changes are alarming and outrightly favour the management instead of the workers. Given below are some of the problematic provisions of the proposed bill.
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