In order to improve compliance, catalyze job creation
and ensure ease of doing business while safeguarding
the health, safety, and social security of workers in
both the organized and unorganized sectors, the
Central and State Governments have initiated various
Some of the Central Government’s labor reforms are
- Under the Payment of Bonus Amendment Act,
the eligibility limit for payment of bonus has been
enhanced from INR 10,000 to INR 21,000 per
month and the Calculation Ceiling enhanced from
INR 3,500 to INR 7,000 or the minimum wages.
- The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Act, 2017
now enable payment of wages to employees
by cash or cheque or crediting it to their bank
- The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation)
Amendment Act, 2016, provides for a complete ban
on employment of children below 14 years in any
occupation or process.
- The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017,
increases the paid maternity leave from 12 weeks
to 26 weeks.
- The Employee Compensation (Amendment) Act,
2017, seeks to rationalize penalties and strengthen
the rights of the workers under the Act.
- The Payment Of Gratuity (Amendment) Act, 2018,
provides flexibility to the Central Government firstly
to increase the ceiling limit of gratuity to such
amount as may be notified from time to time and
secondly to enhance the calculation of continuous
service for the purpose of gratuity in case of
female employees who are on maternity leave to
such period as may be notified from time to time.
Vide Notification dated 29 March 2018, the ceiling
limit of gratuity has been increased from INR 1
million to INR 2 million.
- The Ministry has notified “Ease of Compliance to
maintain Registers under various Labour Laws
Rules, 2017” on 21 February 2017, which has, in
effect replaced the 56 Registers/Forms and 9
Central Labor Laws and Rules with 5 common
Registers/Forms. This will save efforts, costs
and lessen the compliance burden by various
- A Model Shops and Establishments (RE&CS)
Bill, 2016, has been circulated to all States/
Union Territories for adoption with appropriate
modification. The said Bill inter alia provides for
freedom to operate an establishment for 365
days in a year without any restriction on opening/
closing time and enables employment of women
during night shifts if adequate safety provisions
- Under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders)
Act, 1946, the category, i.e., fixed-term employment,
with all statutory benefits, has been extended to all
sectors to impart flexibility to an establishment to
employ people to meet the fluctuating demands,
vide the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders)
Central (Amendment) Rules, 2018.
- The Ministry has also notified the Rationalization
of Forms and Reports under certain Labour Laws
Rules, 2017 on 28 March 2017 for the reduction of the number of Forms/Returns under the 3 Central
Acts/Rules from 36 to 12 by reviewing redundant
and overlapping fields.
- Unified Annual Return - Unified Annual Returns
have been made mandatory in respect to Central
Labor Acts (the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the
Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Maternity Benefit
Act, 1961, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, the
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947) on the Shram
The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Condition Code, 2019
The Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working
Condition Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the
Labor Ministry, with the aim of extending safety and
healthy working conditions to the entire workforce
of the country. The Code is set to enhance the ambit
of provisions of safety, health, welfare and working
conditions for all establishments having 10 or more
Increase in the rate of interest under the Employees
Provident Fund Scheme
There has been a revision in interest rates being paid
under the Employees Provident Fund Scheme, 1952.
The Ministry of Labor & Employment has revised the
interest rates on EPF to 8.5% for FY 2020.