Union Ministry of Labour and Employment has notified the draft rules under the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 on 19.11.2020 inviting objections and suggestions, if any, from the stakeholders. Such objections and suggestions are required to be submitted within a period of 45 days from the date of notification of the draft rules.
2. The draft rules provide for operationalization of provisions in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 relating to safety, health and working conditions of the Dock Workers, Building or other construction workers, Mines workers, Inter-State Migrant worker, Contract labour, Working journalist, Audio-visual workers and Sales promotion employees. The salient features of the draft rules include:
i. Appointment letter in prescribed format including designation, category of skill, wages, avenue for achieving higher wages/higher position etc. to every employee of an establishment within three months of coming into force of the rules. As per new rules no employee shall be employed in any establishment unless he has been issued a letter of appointment.
ii. Annual health examination to be conducted by the employer free of cost for every worker of factory, dock, mine and building or other construction work, who has completed 45 years of age.
iii. Provision has also been made in the rules regarding journey allowance once in a year for to & fro journey and Toll Free Helpline number for interstate migrant worker with a view to address their concerns and grievances in a timely manner.
iv. Single electronic registration, license and annual integrated return for an establishment.
v. An all India single license for contractor supplying or engaging contract labour in more than one State for five years has been provided as against work order based licensing at present.
vi. Rules for prohibition of employment of contract labour for core activity of an establishment and the classification of core and non-core activities is laid down in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020.
vii. Payment of wages to contact labour (a) the contractor shall fix the wage periods and no wage period shall exceed one month. (b) The wages of every person employed as contract labour in an establishment or by the contactor shall be paid before the expiry of seventh day after the last day of the wage period. (c) The wages shall be disbursed through bank transfer or electronic mode only.
viii. Safety committees have been made mandatory for every establishment employing 500 or more workers to provide an opportunity for the workers to represent their concern on occupational safety and health matters and rules have been provided for composition and functions of safety committees.
ix. The rules has been made regarding conditions relating to safety of women employment in all establishment for all type of work before 6 a.m. and beyond 7 p.m. with their consent.
x. In calculating overtime on any day, a fraction of an hour between 15 to 30 minutes shall be counted as 30 minutes, at present less than 30 minutes is counted as no overtime.
xi. Mines rules have also been simplified and integrated with the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions rules.
xii. Thus, the draft Rules are aimed at enhancing safety, health and working conditions in establishments, simplifying the procedures and protocols, allowing electronic mode of maintaining registers, records and furnishing returns, thus ensuring safe, healthy and decent working conditions.