The 'fixed-term employee' notification from the government is a classic example of leaving all sides dissatisfied. The new amendment to the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central (Amendment) Rules, 2018, will allow corporate India to employ and deploy labour for a fixed duration. It helps companies during peak seasons or when they have specific targets to meet. It also means they do not have to carry the burden of extra labour in lean times.
Labour unions, including the RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, are furious at what they see as a clever circumvention of India's commitment to ILO in 1976. Worse, it may pave the path to ending 'permanent jobs', the unions fear. The Labour Ministry has indicated its willingness to discuss the matter, but until things are sorted out, the unions will not be on board for other contentious issues such as the Universal Social Security Code.