President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Labour Laws (Gujarat Amendment) Bill 2015. With the assent, the Bill passed by the Gujarat Assembly in February 2015 became an Act.
The bill was passed by the Assembly on 25 February 2015 with an aim to relax labour laws and give an impetus to industrialisation of the state. It sought to take greater control over running of industries and minimise disputes between labourers and employees in out-of-court settlement by way of compounding the offence.
Highlights of the Act
• It carries provisions to ban strikes in public utility services for up to one year from previous six months
• It reduces the time limit for workers to raise objections to the decisions of the industries from three year to one year. This means that a labour can now have only a time period of one year to file a case in labour court or tribunal against his dismissal, discharge and others.
• The law has amended the definition of contractor to include outsourcing agencies, which in some cases, is the government itself. This will attest more power to the government.
• To avoid court cases that go on for years, the bill reduces unnecessary and endless litigation. It brings in formulae in which labourers can arrive at a compromise with employers without approaching court. The outside compromise and reduction of burden on courts means, the government will charge up to 21000 rupees in penalty from the employer and give 75 per cent of the money to the affected employee or employees.
• It sought to change certain basic definitions in the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and clauses in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which allow more policing of the state over industries.
• It included reforms, like payment of wages by cheque, in establishments that employed over 20 labourers, to give impetus to the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
The Bill was sent for the President’s approval along with the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill, 2015, which has not been approved till now.
As per the Right to Information filed by The Hindu, it was revealed that the Bill was passed by the President on 20 September 2015. It is among the 34 bills that received the assent. Total 65 bills were forwarded by various state governments that included Sikkim Promotion of Local Employment Bill and Gujarat Terrorism Bill.
However, the President refused to give assent to the Sikkim Promotion of Local Employment Bill, 2008. As per the report, the Bill was rejected on 26 September 2015 because it violated Articles 14, 15 and 19 of the Constitution of India.
The Bill proposed 80 per cent employment in the private sector for people carrying the Sikkim Subject Certificate.
When: 20 September 2015