Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020(OSHWC) was introduced in Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Labour and Employment. It was re-introduced with new changes leading to withdrawal of Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019.
The Code subsumes 633 provisions of 13 major labour laws into one single Code with 143 provisions. The laws to be subsumed are
Establishments covered by the Code are required to register within 60 days (of the commencement of the Code) electronically to the registering officers, appointed by the Central or State government. Further, some establishments such as factories and mines, and those hiring workers such as Beedi and Cigar workers, may be required to obtain additional licenses to operate.
This code is expected to bring a major reform in terms of health and safety and welfare of workers employed. On the other hand it is also going to lessen the burden of employer by replacing multiple registrations and licenses into one common licence.
Overall, Code aims to empower both employees and employers. On one side it allows flexibility in hiring and retrenchment on other side it will expand the social security net for both formal and informal workers.
Furthermore, clarifications and procedures will be established by Rules and Regulations made under this Code by Central and State Government.
|S.No||Earlier Provisions||New Provisions|
|1||Few Key Terminologies like "Employee", "Employer" and "Establishment" were defined inconsistently in various Acts and Rules||
|2||Registration was required separately under all the previous labour laws.||One Electronic Registration for every Establishment covered under the Code.|
|3||Various returns required to be filed under different Acts||One Consolidated Return is required to be filed under ease of doing business.|
|4||The threshold for Appointment of Welfare Officer was 500 workers in a Factory||Now appointment of a Welfare Officer is mandatory for 250 workers in a Factory, mine, and Plantation.|
|5||No provision existed for mandatory welfare facilities to inter-state migrant workers||Provision made for mandatory welfare facilities to inter-state migrant workers.|
|6||No Provision existed for constitution of the National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board||Now Central Government shall constitute the National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board.|
|7||Annual leave with wages for one day on every 20 days of working by Employees/workers existed in previous Labour Laws||Annual leave with wages provision kept same in the Code.|
|8||The threshold for the Crèche facility was 30 Female workers / employees||Now threshold limit for crèche facility increased up to 50 number of female workers / employees|
|9||The threshold for the Canteen facility was 250 workers / employees||Now threshold for Canteen facility reduced up to 100 number of workers / employees|
|10||No provision for Women Employment during night shift.||New Clause introduced for the employment of female employees for working beyond 7 pm till 6 am with their consent and conditions relating to safety, holiday, working hours.|
|11||No Specific provision was there for Workers employed in Transport, Sales Promotion and Journalism||Special working hours and leave requirements specified in the code for Workers employed in Transport, Sales Promotion, and Journalism|
|12||No Specific provisions in all the previous Acts regarding Overtime with Consent||Now Overtime work can be taken by the employer with consent of worker/employee.|
|13||Threshold for Constitution of Safety Committee and appointment of Safety Officer was 1000 workers||
Now there are following changes in the threshold for Constitution of Safety Committee and appointment of Safety Officer
|14||Week Day off Provision existed in all the previous Acts||Code introduced the provision in a new manner: Workers cannot be required to work for more than 6 days/week and will be entitled to one day off for every 20 days of work & one day off every week|
|15||No provisions were there for Leave encashment||Now provision has been made for entitlement of leave encashment.|
|16||Offenses and Penalties had less monetary fine and imprisonment duration||Now Stringent penalties with the comparatively high monetary amount and imprisonment period|