Need to improve women participation for economy to grow: Secretary (L&E), Ministry of Labour & Employment

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NEW DELHI, 28 December 2021: Mr Sunil Barthwal, Secretary (L&E), Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt of India today emphasized that the government has tried to make the new labour codes as much contemporary as possible and tried to ensure the contemporariness of the world we are living should be there. The government took various measures to improve the women’s participation in the workforce.

Addressing the virtual ‘87th Annual General Meeting of AIOE (All India Organization of Employers)’ on the theme ‘Impact of New Labour Codes on Sustainable and Equitable Growth’, Mr Barthwal said, “Unless women participation improves, the contribution to GDP from women workers will not be to the extent, we want this economy to grow. We have looked at the labour codes from various viewpoint including employers, workers, women, youth and it is a good amalgamation of different point of views. When we look at the future of work then we will have to look at different employment models and how we can do justice to all models,” he added.

Mr Barthwal stated that we are pursuing with the states because this law is the concurrent list of the constitution and rules have to be formed both at the central and state level. “We, at the central government level, have pre-published the rules and are ready and as soon as the majority of the state government frame their rules then we will be ready to implement the Code. “More and more states are coming up in terms of notification and finalization of rules. We have to be fast as everybody is eagerly waiting for these rules to see the light of the day.”

Speaking on the new Codes, Mr Barthwal stated that the two guiding principles on which the rules have been designed include ease of living for the workers and ease of doing business for employers. A big inclusion, he highlighted in the labour code was the inclusion of the gig and platform workers. “Looking at the platform economy which is completely digital economy and growing. India is among the three largest platform economies,” he added. Mr Barthwal further stated that these changes are very important for us, and we wanted the whole labour code to be inclusive.

Highlighting the importance of social security funding, which was available to organized workers, Mr Barthwal said now we are extending to unorganized workers as well. “In the e-shram portal, we will be registering around 380 million and almost 150 million workers have already registerd on the portal. We have also created a fund which will be coming out of the compounding of offenses which will be addressing the issues of unorganized workers,” he noted.

Ms Dagmar Walter, Director ILO, DWT for South Asia and Country Office of India said that ILO adopted a 4-pillar policy in tackling the impact of COVID-19 for its members. Theses socio-economic impact of the crisis include stimulating the economy & employment, supporting the enterprises jobs and income, protecting workers in the workplace and relying on a social dialogue for solutions. “The future is going to rely on collaborations and social dialogues, and this will lead the way to reach better outcomes,” she added.

Mr Shishir Jaipuria, President, AIOE said that governments’ proactive measures have built trust and transparency and simplified complex and antiquated laws which were detrimental to growth. “We will be actively engaging with the States to come out with rules which are transparent, simple and in mutual interest of the employers and employees,” he added.

Mr Alok B Shriram, Vice President, AIOE said that the development of shram suvidha portal- a one stop shop for labour law compliance, launch of e-shram portal- for creating a data base for unorganized worker, etc. will go a long way in supporting the cause of equitable growth for all stakeholders.

Mr Arun Chawla, Director General, FICCI said India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world today and to spur the sustainable growth and productivity, it is inevitable to have a labour policy which fulfils this objective.

‘AIOE-ACTEMP ILO Study on New Ramifications of the Internal Migration in India as a result of COVID-19’ was released and AIOE National Award for Outstanding Industrial Relations 2019-20 were also distributed during the event.

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