Labour Ministry today notified the amendments in the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders), paving the way for fixed-term employment in the apparel manufacturing sector.
“The decision would facilitate employment of workers in apparel manufacturing on fixed term basis in the backdrop of seasonal nature of sector and would also ensure same working conditions, wages and other benefits for fixed term employee in the sector as a regular employee,” Labour Ministry said.
On the termination of fixed term employment, the workman will not be entitled to any notice or pay, it said.
However, the move has been criticised by the central trade unions (CTUs) including the RSS-affiliate Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) terming it “anti-worker”.
Fixed-term employment is introduced in apparel manufacturing sector in Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Act vide notification dated October 7, 2016, the ministry said.
Explaining the benefits, it said that working conditions in terms of working hours, wages, allowances and other statutory dues of a fixed-term employee would be at par with permanent workmen.
Fixed term worker will also be eligible for all statutory benefits available to a permanent workman proportionately according to the period of service rendered by him even though his period of employment does not extend to the qualifying period of employment required in the statute, it added.
It is one of the measures approved under the Rs 6,000 crore package for the textile sector announced in June this year.
“The measures assume significance also due to its potential for social transformation through women empowerment.
Since 70 per cent of the workforce in the garment industry are women, majority of the new jobs created are likely to go to women,” the ministry added.
All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) Secretary D L Sachdev told PTI that all CTUs have criticised the amendments even when it was put in the public domain for comments.
“We criticised it then and we are against it now,” he added.
BMS General Secretary Virijesh Upadhyay said: “This is not in favour of either the employer or the employee. We are opposed to such amendments, which adversely impacts the workers.