Uttar Pradesh government has promulgated an ordinance that suspends most of the labour laws for a period of three years. In its latest meeting, the state cabinet approved this ordinance in order to revive economic activities in the state that have been hit hard due to the coronavirus-mandated lockdown.
In the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, UP cabinet gave the green signal to the 'Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020' which relaxes all labour laws in the state, except three, which are related to abolishment of bonded labour, ex gratia to workers in case of work-related diseases and disabilities, and timely wage payments. In a statement, the Uttar Pradesh government said that the nation-wide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has slowed the pace of industrial and economic activities in the state, which has also impacted the welfare of labourers and that makes this ordinance necessary.
"For encouraging new investments, setting up new industrial infrastructure and benefit of existing industries and factories, it is imperative that they are provided temporary exempted from the existing labour laws in the state. Therefore, it is important that existing labour laws in Uttar Pradesh are relaxed for a period of three years. To this end 'Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020' has been introduced," the state government said in its statement.
The ordinance has been sent to Governor Anandiben Patel for her approval.
The relaxations will be extended to existing industries and manufacturing units, as well as new ventures that set shop in the state in coming days. All labour laws related to labour unions, settling work disputes, regulations for working conditions, contracts, etc will remain suspended for three years in Uttar Pradesh under this ordinance.
However, three labour laws have been exempted. These include Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976; Employee Compensation Act, 1923 (statutory liability upon an employer to discharge his moral obligation towards employees when they suffer from any physical disabilities or diseases, during the course of employment in hazardous working conditions); Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996 (safety, health and welfare measures); and Section 5 of Payment of Wages Act, 1936 (ensure timely payment of daily wages). Provisions related to women and children will continue to exist, the Uttar Pradesh government noted.
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