Govt to carefully examine 'hire and fire' clause in new law

New Delhi, Aug 4: The government today said it will carefully examine the "hire and fire" clause under the draft Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2015, that seeks to make retrenchment easier for employers.

The decision on the proposed "hire and fire" clause will not be taken in haste, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said today.

Govt to examine 'hire and fire' clause

The draft bill proposes to make retrenchment easier for companies employing up to 300 workers as well as make it tougher to form a trade union.

The bill proposes to combine Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, Trade Unions Act, 1926, and Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 into a single code. "On hire and fire, there will be some safeguards such in terms of wages by paying higher compensation.

There will be safeguards on other things such as registration of trade unions also. "Whatever the rights are there, they will be protected to the workers' interest, not in the old form but in the new form.

We are carefully examining the proposed hire and fire clause. Wherever necessary, we will work on it," Dattatreya told PTI. However, he said consensus with the states is also needed on the issue as factories have to be set up on their land.

"So at the central level, we will see that maximum efforts are put into it and some consensus with the trade unions is reached," said the Minister. All central trade unions, including BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) have strongly opposed the proposals, saying they deprive workers of their basic rights.

At present, firms employing 100 or more workers are required to seek government's permission for retrenchment under the Industrial Dispute Act. Also, any seven or more members of a trade union can apply for registration of the Trade Union.

The draft bill proposes that 10 per cent of workers shall apply (be applicant) for registering a trade union. The Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2015 is one of the initiative of the NDA government to subsume 44 labour laws into four broad codes, dealing with industrial relations, wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare. Of these, tripartite consultations on wages and industrial relations are going on.

"Still some more final touches have to be given in these two. On the remaining two, social security and industrial safety and welfare codes, tripartite mechanism has not started. But as far as the first two are concerned, 80-90 per cent of the tripartite consultation is over," Dattatreya said.

The minister said that he wants to push these bills as the proposed laws will remove many complications and cumbersome processes. "It is also for the benefit of workers. Also, we want a conducive atmosphere and take workers' into confidence," he added.


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