In the upcoming February budget session, the Central Government plans to introduce two new bills and amendments to two existing labour laws. The bills will include enforcing ban on child labour, simplifying rules for small units and relaxing provident fund norms as the Government looks to move a large proportion of the workforce into the organized sector, thus ensuring greater protection for them. The new bills are the Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Other Conditions of Service) Act, 2014, and the National Workers Vocational Institute Act, 2015. The Government will also seek to push amendments to the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment (CLPRA) Bill, both of which have pending in the Rajya Sabha since 2012.
The Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and other Conditions of Service) Act, applicable to manufacturing units with a workforce below 40, is a unified legislation that will dispense the current regime of compliance with over 14 laws. Under the National Workers Vocational Institute Act, the labour ministry will establish a central institute that will provide technical support, in collaboration with Germany, to various skill-development initiatives taken by the Government in the last six months.