Union Labour and Employment Minister Narendra Singh Tomar tabled two Labour Reform Bills in the Lok Sabha on 7 August 2014. The two bills are The Factories (Amendment) Bill 2014 and the Apprentices (Amendment) Bill 2014.
The two bills aim at enabling the government to make certain rules in consultation with the States to ensure safety and welfare of workers at workplace.
The purpose is to reform years-old Labour Laws- the Factories Act 1948 and the Apprentices Act 1961. They would be intended to generate more employment opportunities in the nation. Besides, it would make it easier to do business in India, with provisions to allow flexibility in both hiring and working hours.
Earlier on 30 July 2014, Union Cabinet approved the amendments to labour laws.
The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2014 centres on five proposed changes:
Main provisions of the Factories Bill, 2014
The Main highlights of the Apprentices (Amendment) Bill 2014
The Factories Act 1948
The Factories Act 1948, law related to the regulation of labour working in factories, was embodied in the Factories Act, 1934. Receiving assent in September 1948, the act came into force in April 1949 as the Factories Act 1948.
The Act was amended several times thereafter but the framework remained the same. The Act was first amended in 1954 through the Factories (Amendment) Act, 1954 followed by two more amendments- The Factories (Amendment) Act, 1976 and The Factories (Amendment) Act, 1987.
The Apprentices Act 1961
Enacted in 1961, the Apprentices Act came into force in 1962. The Act was enacted for regulating the programme of training of employees working as apprentices in the company. It makes it mandatory for the employers of private and public sectors to have required training infrastructure as laid down in the Act.
The Apprentices Act 1961 was first amended in 1973 through the Apprentices (Amendment) Bill 1973 for induction of graduate engineers as "Graduate" Apprentices. The Act was further amended through the Apprentices (Amendment) Bill 1986 to include training of 10+2 vocational stream as "Technician (Vocational)" Apprentices.
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Who: Union Government
When: 7 August 2014