Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 | Women shall be entitled to be employed in all establishments for all types of work [Key Features]

Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 received Presidential Assent on 28-09-2020.

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020

On recommendations by the Second National Commission on Labour, and the deliberations made in the tripartite meeting comprising of the Government, employers’ and industry representatives, it was decided to bring the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020.

The legislation intends to amalgamate, simplify and rationalise the relevant provisions of the following thirteen Central labour enactments relating to occupation, safety, health and working conditions of workers, namely:—

1. The Factories Act, 1948;

2. The Plantations Labour Act, 1951;

3. The Mines Act, 1952;

4. The Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1955;

5. The Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act, 1958;

6. The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961;

7. The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966;

8. The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970;

9. The Sales Promotion Employees (Condition of Service) Act, 1976;

10. The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979;

11. The Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers Act, 1981;

12. The Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986; and

13. The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.

Key Highlights

Technological Changes

(i) to impart flexibility in adapting technological changes and dynamic factors, in the matters relating to health, safety, welfare and working conditions of workers;

(ii) to apply the provisions of the proposed Code for all establishments having ten or more workers, other than the establishments relating to mines and docks;

One Registration for all Establishments

(iii) to provide the concept of “one registration” for all establishments having ten or more employees. However, for the applicability of all other provisions of the Code in respect of factories, except registration, the threshold has been fixed twenty workers in a factory (with power) and forty workers (without power);

Journalists

(iv) to include the journalist working in electronic media such as in e-paper establishment or in radio or in other media in the definition of “working journalists”;

Appointment Letter Mandatory

(v) to provide for issuing of appointment letter mandatorily by the employer of an establishment to promote formalisation in employment;

Free Health Check-Ups

(vi) to provide free of cost annual health check-ups for employees above the specified age in all or certain class of establishments by which it would be possible to detect diseases at an early stage for effective and proper treatment of the employees;

Inter-State Migrant Workers

(vii) to make the provisions relating to Inter-State Migrant Workers applicable on the establishment in which ten or more migrant workers are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months and also provide that an Inter-State Migrant may register himself as an Inter-State Migrant Worker on the portal on the basis of self-declaration and Aadhaar;

(viii) an Inter-State Migrant Worker has been provided with the portability to avail benefits in the destination State in respect of ration and availing benefits of building and other construction worker cess;

Constitution of National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board

(ix) to constitute the National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board to give recommendations to the Central Government on policy matters, relating to occupational safety, health and working conditions of workers;

(x) to constitute the State Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board at the State level to advice the State Government on such matters arising out of the administration of the proposed Code;

(xi) to make a provision for the constitution of Safety Committee by the appropriate Government in any establishment or class of establishments;

Employment of Women

(xii) to employ women in all establishments for all types of work. They can also work at night, that is, beyond 7 PM and before 6 AM subject to the conditions relating to safety, holiday, working hours and their consent;

Common License

(xiii) to make provision of “common license” for factory, contract labour and beedi and cigar establishments and to introduce the concept of a single all India license for a period of five years to engage the contract labour;

Monetary Penalties

(xiv) to enable the courts to give a portion of monetary penalties up to fifty per cent. to the worker who is a victim of an accident or to the legal heirs of such victim in the case of his death;

(xv) to provide overriding powers to the Central Government to regulate general safety and health of persons residing in whole or part of India in the event of the declaration of epidemic or pandemic or disaster;

(xvi) to make provision for Social Security Fund for the welfare of unorganised workers; and

(xvii) to make provision for adjudging the penalties imposed under the Code.

Read the Act, here: Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020


Ministry of Law and Justice

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