The Union Cabinet on 26 July 2019 approved the New Wage Code Bill, which will ensure a minimum wage across all sectors by integrating four labour related laws. Is it really workable? To hear the same from eminent panelists, a Panel Discussion has been organized by VIA- HRD Forum at VIA Auditorium, Nagpur.
Adv R B Puranik, Bombay High Court; opined that there are no major changes took place. The Bill may be good on workers front and may not be good on employer part because in this highly competitive business world, irrespective of its sector and size,every business is Volatile, Uncertain,Complex and Ambiguous. The cost of input is increasing year-on year whereas the output including attitude, discipline, skill level,worker loyalty, customer loyalty is decreasing day by day because of various reasons. This may affect on employment, labour turnover on account of downsize, reduction in manpower, curtail manpower costs, etc.
Sanjay Deo, Management Consultant opined that Some of the intellectuals from industry are worrying that this will not promote the ease to do business but to close the business.Further, though the prime focus of the Bill is “mandatory national minimum wage” and the States cannot pay below to this mandatory national minimum wage, there is no guarantee that Central Governmen twill fix the national minimum wages significantly. He further said that the take home of this session would be that the employers must settle the full and final payment within couple of days as per law.
Nishikant Bhore, VP-HR, Indorama opined that the code on Wage universalizes the provisions of the minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling. Because of No. of employments, geography, skills, currently there are more than 2000 rates of minimums wages prevailed in India. Introduction of Wage Code Bill will rationalize and reduce the number of minimum wages.
Adv. S D Thakur, Bombay High Court said it is one of four codes envisaged by the government which would subsume 44 labour laws with certain amendments. At present, the provisions of the both Minimum Wages Act and Payment of Wages Act apply on workers below a particular wage ceiling working in Scheduled employments only.. Introduction of Wage code will bring more clarity on the definition of “Wage” and reduce the litigations under various Labour Laws.
Asst. Labour Commissioner, Ujwal Loya opined that Employer need not maintain No.of registers/records/forms but can maintain / file the consolidated templates/record electronically. Because of introduction of web-based inspection, wecan see accountability and transparency in enforcing the Labour Laws. The penalties / punishments going to impose on employers against non-compliance is also significantly high. The Code is envisaged that the States to notify payment of wages to the workers through digital mode. No doubt that this will improve the ease of doing business and attract investment for spurring growth and more particularly simplification, uniformity in various Labour Laws and mandates that minimum wages to be revised in 5-years interval.
Earlier, Hemant Lodha, Chairman of VIA HRD Forum in his opening remarks said that this code will enhance the relationship between employees and employers in general and overall earning status of employees. This will also helpful to industries to forecast their business plans in a smooth way. He also shared the training calendar of various upcoming programmes will be organised under VIA HRD Forum.
Floral welcomed of eminent panelists Nishikant Bhore –VP HR, Indorama & Adv. R B Puranik by Hemant Lodha; Ujwal Loya, Asst. Labour Commissioner Nagpur by Pravin Tapadia, Past President – VIA; Adv. S D Thakur by and Mr. Sanjay Deo, Management Consultant by Suresh Pandilwar.
Suresh Pandilwar, Co-Chairman – VIA HRD Forum moderated the session. In the beginning, he appraised the current labour law scenario of India and how this new wage code bill 2019 is evolved.
Suresh Pandilwar while moderating his closing remarks has said that Uniformity is desirable – but not essential based on the various circumstances prevailed in the States. Let us consider this bill with humaneness and human relations aspect i.e. a satisfied worker will produce and productive more – More productivity leads to more prosperity of the Nation. Program was witnessed more than 90 participants attended the discussion including HR & IR professionals, industrialists, entrepreneurs and students. Prashant Mohota, former VP – VIA; Amar Mohile from Zim Lab; Suchita from Bilt Graphic Paper Products; Arun Pandit from Pee Vee Textiles, Haldiram Foods; Sri Bhagirath Textiles, Ankur Pulps & Boards Ltd., R C Plasto, Sandeep Metalcrafts, KEC International; Diffusion Engineers, SMS Group were prominently present.
Neelam Bowade, Convener of VIA HRD Forum proposed a formal vote of thanks.
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