The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 (“OSHWC Code” or “Code”) of India is the third code under our 4-part series on the new labour legislations. The OSHWC Code aims to regulate the safety, health, and working conditions of various establishments.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป The OSHWC Code integrates 13 existing labour legislations within itself to bring uniformity and streamline the labour laws regime. The broad framework of the Code shall bring down 622 sections from the previous laws to 134 sections with an aim to cover all the scenarios relating to the health and safety of the workmen with simplified and easier compliances.
๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸปThe Code ensures that instead of mandating registrations under multiple regulations, there will just be one registration for each license and one annual return submission.

Duties of Employer
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป The Code expands the definition of employer to include persons who, directly or through any other person, employ employees, and includes legal representatives of a deceased employer. Earlier, the definition of ’employer’ under the plantation Labour Act, 1951 was limited to such employer having ultimate control over the affairs of the establishment which is now also included under the new definition of employer.
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป As per the Code, every employer should issue a letter of appointment to the employee on his appointment within 3 months after the Code comes into effect.

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADVISORY BOARDS
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป The Code establishes occupational safety boards at the national and state level to advise the Central and State Governments on the standards, rules, and regulations to be framed under the Code. The board consists of various experts from the Central Government and the State Government.

SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO WOMEN EMPLOYEES
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป The women workers shall be entitled to do all kinds of work in all establishments and work night shifts from 7 PM to 6 AM with their consent, subject to conditions prescribed by the Government relating to safety, holidays, and working hours. Previously, women were prohibited from working at night under the Factories Act, 1948. The employer must arrange adequate safeguards for the women employees in operations which are considered dangerous for health and safety.

SPECIAL PROVISIONS ON INTER-STATE MIGRANT WORKERS
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป These include
(i) the option to avail the benefits of the public distribution system either in the native state or the state of employment,
(ii) the availability of benefits available under the building and other construction cess fund in the state of employment,
(iii) insurance and provident fund benefits available to other workers in the same establishment, and
(iv) toll-free helpline number.

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