India Consolidates and Codifies Its National-Level Labour Laws



India has enacted three new codes on employment conditions, social security and occupational health, safety and working conditions

The Code on Wages was previously enacted in 2019

The codes consolidate, subsume and replace 29 national-level labour laws

The codes introduce several changes to the labour laws and impact both employers and employees

The codes are yet to be made effective

Draft rules corresponding to each of the 4 codes have been released by Ministry of Labour and Employment for public comments

India, one of the most labour-intensive countries of the world, has finally taken a leap of faith and codified 29 of its national-level labour laws into 4 codes. This is a bold and progressive move given that several labour laws were almost 70-80 years old and enacted largely in the industrial era. Indian economy has changed considerably since, and finally it’s time for our labour laws to change. The efforts to codify our labour laws had originally started in early 2000 and finally have seen the light of the day.

The Code on Wages, 20191 was notified by the government in 2019. Please see our legal alert here.

The remaining 3 codes, being the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, the Code on Social Security, 2020 and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, were enacted on September 29, 2020. The effective date of the codes is yet to be notified in order for them to come into force.

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National Law Review, 15 January 2021