Why in news?

Madhya Pradesh on 7th May 2020 allowed employers to increase working hours in factories by four hours, from eight to 12. It has also allowed up to 72 hours a week in overtime.

Highlights

  • The increased working hours are applicable only if employees are willing to work. And they must be paid for overtime.
  • And industries can change shifts at their convenience and New industries will be exempted from all Sections of the Factories Act, 1948.
  • A proposal has been sent to the Central government for amendments to this Act, the Public Relations Department said.

What is Not mandatory now?

  • The new units will be exempted from the entire Section in the Act on ‘right of workers’ that empowers workers to obtain details of their health and safety at work.
  • Further, the employer is not bound to provide to workers ventilation, lighting, toilets, sitting facilities, first aid boxes, protective equipment, canteens, crèches, weekly holidays and interval of rest.
  • Not even providing drinking water is mandatory now.
  • Maintenance of register of adult and child workers and allowing for advance payments will not apply to new units.
  • They can even get away without maintaining cleanliness on premises and ensuring safe disposal of waste and effluents.

Why are these Labour Reforms introduced?

  • Many firms across the world want to relocate now. And we want to invite them here.
  • Industries have been demanding labour reforms for long.
  • The changes, with workers’ rights kept in mind, became necessary as investors were stuck in a web of laws and red-tapism.
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