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Rajya Sabha passes bill simplifying labour law for small businesses of up to 40 employees

Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill which simplifies labour law procedures for establishments employing up to 40 workers.

Moving the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Amendment Bill, 2011 Labour Minister Bandaru Dattareya said the main purpose of the amendment is simplification of laws.

“The main purpose of this amendment is simplification. There is no exemption for any establishments. Our prime minister is always insisting that our main job is trnasprency, accountability and proper enforcement,” he said, adding the bill has been brought to provide relief to small and medium establishments.

The bill amends the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Amendment and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1988, which defines “small establishments” as any place which employs between 10 and 19 people on any day of the preceding 12 months. A “very small establishment” is a place that employs nine or less people.

The bill amends the definition of “small establishment” to cover establishments that employ between 10 and 40 people.

Under the existing act, these establishments are exempted from furnishing returns and maintaining registers under certain labour laws. Small establishments are also exempted from furnishing returns and maintaining registers under certain laws such as the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Weekly Holidays Act, 1942; Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Factories Act, 1948; and the Plantations Labour Act, 1951. Instead, they are required to furnish returns and maintain registers in a specified format.

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