In Kerala’s new labour policy, focus on women, migrant workers

Written by PaperDabba
Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: May 18, 2018 6:13:32 am

A labourer marks the sacks filled with pulses before loading them into a truck as others wait in a queue to load at a wholesale market. (Rueters) 

The LDF government in Kerala has come out with a new labour policy to make the state employee-friendly and investment-friendly. The policy ratified by the cabinet on Wednesday envisages job security, better employer-employee relationship and minimum wages, even in the unorganised sector.

Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan said the new policy was framed to ensure participation of the working sector in the state’s development. The government is committed to abolish all unhealthy trends in the labour sector, he said.
As per the new policy, the government would take steps to increase minimum wages to Rs 600 a day. Lightning strikes, a practice of workers going on strike without notice, would be discouraged.

The policy puts special focus on migrant workers and their welfare. Volunteers familiar with languages of migrant workers would be appointed to communicate with workers from other states. Facilitation centers would be established in various parts of the state to inform migrant workers about job opportunities and welfare measures for them. The state government’s housing scheme for migrants, ‘apna ghar,’ would be launched in all districts.

The policy promises to bring in legislation for fixing the service and salary of teachers in unaided schools. It also lists steps to eradicate child labour from the state. The policy lists several steps to make workplaces women friendly and says crèche cess would be implemented in institutions employing women and employers have to ensure breast-feeding facilities.

According to the policy, labour banks would be formed to address shortage of skilled and unskilled workers. A skilled workers’ portal would be launched to make skilled hands locally available. Employment exchanges, where unemployed youths register for jobs in government/quasi-government sectors, would be reorganised to supply labour force for agriculture sector. Labour relations committees would come up in IT, agriculture and manufacturing sectors. As per the policy, contributory pension scheme would be introduced in areas not covered by statutory pension scheme.

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