Staff Writer @Blink
Bhubaneswar, April 24: A Parliamentary Committee chaired by BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab has now recommended the Union government not to force the industries to pay wages to their laid off employees during natural disasters.
The Standing Committee of Labour comprising a total of 30 members from Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha which was examining the Industrial Relations Code 2019 has now batted for revisiting some of the norms as prescribed in the Code to bring in better labour laws in the country.
“The Committee is of the considered opinion that payment of 50 percent wages to the workers for 45 days, which can be extended following an agreement between the employer and the employees, in case of shortage of power, breakdown of machinery may be justified,” the report said.
It also said, “But in case of natural calamities like earthquake, flood, super cyclone etc. which often result in closure of establishments for a considerably longer period without the employer’s fault, payment of wages to the workers until the reestablishment of the industry may be unjustifiable,”
The report also read, “The Committee, therefore, desire that clarity to the above extent be brought in the relevant clauses so that employers not responsible for closure or lay off are not disadvantaged in case of such natural calamity of high intent.
Mahtab in his interview to ‘The Hindu’ said that the global pandemic of COVID 19 should also be counted as a disaster and the recommendations should be extended to this too to ensure industries are not pressurized.
The panel on the other side also talked about including access of employees other than workers to the services of Trade Unions, diluting the differences of rights of employees and workers, revisiting the definition of strikes besides other labour law provisions.
Since Parliament was adjourned sine-die on 24th March, 2020 because of the unprecedented situation arising out of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Committee sought and obtained further extension of time upto the first day of the Monsoon Session 2020 to present the Reoprt.
The Committee considered and adopted the Report digitally as no sitting could be held due to the unprecedented situation arising out of the COVID-19 Pandemic.