Recently, Union Government has gone for complete codification of central labour laws into 4 codes:
- The code on wages, 2019
- The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020
- The Code on Social Security, 2020
- The Industrial Relations code, 2020
Challenges in Employment and Labour Workforce Sector:-
- Dominance of agriculture – India has total workforce of about 52 Crore. 49% is employed in agriculture sector.
- Highest Unemployment in 45 years – 6.1% in 2017-18.
- Lesser % of Formalisation – ES 2019-20, formalisation is 9.98%.
- Salaried workforce is mere 23% (ES 2019-20).
- Poor Quality of human capital – only 5.4% of workforce undergo formal skill training (NSDP – 2015).
- India Skill Report, 2020 – stated that only 46.21% of those getting out of higher education institutes are employable.
- Insufficient employment generation – with 12 million new fresh faces entering labour market/year, but on an average, only 4.36 million formal jobs are created/year. (ES – 2019-20).
- With national WFPR at 40%, Female LFPR is only at 23.7%.
Because of all these challenges, India’s Demographic dividend (with working age population of 15-64 years at 66.2%) may turn into demographic disaster.
Measures to improve the situation:-
Enhance Skill and Apprenticeship –
- LMIS (Labour Market Information System) should be made effective and functional.
- Ensure wider use of apprenticeship programmes by all enterprise.
Labour Law Reforms–
- The National Policy for Domestic Workers needs to be brought in at the earliest.
Enhance Female LFP
- Effective implementation of Maternity Benefit Act, 2017 and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, and ensuring implementation of these legislations in informal sector too.
Improve data collection on employment :-
- Ensure continuation of data collection under PLFS.
- Conduct annual enterprise survey using the GSTN.
Ease of Industrial relations to encourage formalisation
- Strengthen labour courts/tribunals for timely dispute resolution.
- Enforce the payment of wages through cheque or Aadhaar enabled payments for all.
The implementation of the above provisions will strengthen the “Rise of India”.