Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed three key labour code reform bills even as protests by opposition parties on farm bills and suspension of eight MPs continued. The Upper House passed by voice vote the three remaining labour codes on industrial relations, social security and occupational safety. The passage of the bills will now remove obstacles for winding up of companies and allow firing of staff without government permission in firms with up to 300 workers.
On Tuesday, the three codes were passed by Lok Sabha. Now, the bills will be sent to the President for his assent. "The purpose of labour reforms is to provide a transparent system to suit the changed business environment," Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said while replying to the debate on the three labour reforms bills.
The minister also told the House that as many as 16 states have already increased the threshold for closure, lay off and retrenchment in firms with up to 300 workers without government permission.
He maintained that it is not good for employment generation to keep the threshold low at 100 because it discourages employers to recruit more workers than this and they deliberately keep their workers' strength below it.
The minister was of the view that the increase in threshold would result in job creation and encourage employers to hire.
He said these bills would safeguard the interest of workers and provide universal social security to workers by expanding the ambit of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation and Employees' State Corporation of India.