In what could be a relief to the factory and mine owners and construction companies, the labour ministry is planning to waive the requirement of conducting mandatory free annual medical check-up for their employees above 45 years of age.
Instead, the ministry will entrust the job with the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) which will provide free annual medical check-up to those employees or insured persons registered with it.
“ESIC will provide free medical check-up to those employees registered with it, thereby, the burden of the employers will come down,” said labour and employment secretary Apurva Chandra.
The draft rules mandated the employers to foot the bill for annual free-of-cost medical examination for all factory, mine and construction workers above 45 years of age, apart from making regular contribution to the ESIC. The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 applies to non-seasonal, manufacturing establishments employing 10 or more workers earning up to Rs 21,000 a month.
The government had earlier indicated that the labour codes might be implemented any time after January. The changes will be brought in the final rules which are nearing finalisation.
“The government has to take a call when the rules will be implemented under the four codes,” he said.
The secretary also said that, aimed at providing flexibility, the government may allow companies to reduce the number of working days to four per week, translating into a 12-hour working day.
However, the maximum working hours in a week will remain the same at 48, beyond that overtime at double the salary has to be paid. Also, the remaining three days of the week has to be paid leave.
“It will provide flexibility; but has to be with the consent of the employer and the employees,” Chandra said.
Chandra said Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh are also framing their own set of draft labour code rules, which will be released in the coming days.
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