The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, an Act to regulate the employment and conditions of service of building and other construction workers, will be merged with a new Code. The Union cabinet has approved for introduction of the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019 in the Parliament. The New Code has been drafted after amalgamation, simplification and rationalisation of the relevant provisions of the 13 Central Labour Acts, including BOCW Act.
The Bill is the second of four proposed codes that aim to merge 44 labour laws, with the Code on Wages Bill, 2019 that was approved on July 3 being the first.
Through this single code the government plans to enhance the coverage of the safety, health and working conditions provisions manifold as compared to the present scenario. Some of the Acts merged with the proposed Code are Factories Act, Mines Act, Contract Labour Act, Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, Motor Transport Workers Act and BOCW Act.
With the ultimate aim of extending the safety and healthy working conditions to all workforce of the country, the Code enhances the ambit of provisions of safety, health, welfare and working conditions from existing about 9 major sectors to all establishments having 10 or more employees. “Safety, Health, welfare and improved Working Conditions are pre-requisite for well-being of the worker and also for economic growth of the country as healthy workforce of the country would be more productive and occurrence of less accidents and unforeseen incidents would be economically beneficial to the employers also,” a government statement said.