Uttar Pradesh Governor approves changes in labour laws, ordinance sent to President

Uttar Pradesh Governor approves changes in labour laws, ordinance sent to President

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel has approved an ordinance exempting companies in the state from almost all labour laws for a period of three years, Business Standard has reported.

The ordinance has now been sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for approval, after which it comes into effect as a law.

Since labour falls under the concurrent list, any amendments to existing laws introduced by the state need to have the Centre’s approval as well.

A senior officer with the UP government told the publication that the new rules will apply to “old units hiring new workers and all the new units, both dealing with manufacturing process.”

The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in the state has justified the newly-made changes in existing labour laws as those bringing more investment to Uttar Pradesh, especially after the state saw a large influx of labourers returning from other states in view of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Under the Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020, all manufacturing units in the state will be exempt from all labour laws for a period of three years, provided they fulfil certain conditions.

The conditions include payment of minimum wages to workers and depositing their salary directly in their bank accounts on time; continued ban on bonded labour; and rules related to safety and security of workers shall remain applicable.

However, laws relating to settling of disputes, trade unions, contract workers and migrant workers will be dissolved.

Besides, employers will not have to comply with welfare provisions under the Factories Act, which relate to cleanliness, disposal of waste, lighting, drinking water, urinals, canteens, rest rooms, crèches, and wages during the leave period, among others.

While industry executives have welcomed the move, trade unions have castigated it. Meanwhile, the International Labour Organisation has asked the states to go for proper consultation and adhere to global standards before effecting any changes.