Nov 8, 2008

India - Contract Labourers likely to get social security package on lines of China

The labour ministry is contemplating a social security package for contract labourers across the country on the lines of China. In China, contract labour is rewarded with adequate compensation package after the expiry of their contracts.

A detailed documentation has been released to this effect to various industry associations, apparently to seek the support of India Inc. Industry sources said that they have already circulated the labour ministry s recommendations to their members to seek their support to enable the government take policy decision to this effect. The labour ministry has specifically mentioned that after the contract of labourers have expired with their respective organisation and is not considered for renewal, the organisation in such cases should award certain welfare benefits to such employees like social safety and insurance benefits.

The state shall develop social insurance system and set up social insurance funds so that labourers may achieve assistance and compensations under such circumstances as old age, illness, work-related injury, unemployment and child-bearing. The state shall also consider various measures through various channels to expand vocational training undertakings so as to develop professional skills of labourers and raise their employment capability and work ability. This would be done so that the workforce is not rendered unarmed and can seek their redeployment with the employers.

As far as the industry associations are concerned, they are supportive of the social security packages to contract labourers as per the consensus among their members. Sources however add that the government is very keen to come out with safety package in consultant with Indian Inc.

Being an election year, the UPA government is taking steps to increase its popularity within the labour force across the country as it is the biggest vote bank during the election time.

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