In the era of ease of doing business in India, the labour ministry has finally simplified procedures in relation to the maintenance of registers under various labour laws prevalent in India. Ministry of Labour and Employment on 21st February, 2017 has notified the Ease Of Compliance To Maintain Register Under Various Labour Law Rules, 2017 (“Rules”).
As per various labour laws, the employer was under an obligation to maintain around 56 (Fifty Six) registers under 9 (nine) central laws. These requirements have been waived off and the Rules have combined the maintenance of 56 (Fifty Six) register into 5 (Five) registers as specified in the Schedule of the Rules. The maintenance of these combined registers would lead to sharp reduction in cost as well as reduce the compliance burden on the employer.
As per the Rules following registers maintained by the employers needs to be consolidated:
- Employee Register
- Wage Register
- Register of Loans and Recoveries
- Attendance register
- Register of Rest/Leave/Leave Wages(to be maintained under the Mines Act, 1952, Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976 and Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955).
These combined registers can be maintained electronically. If the registers were already maintained in electronic format, then as per sub rule 3 of rule 2 of the Rules, the layout and presentation of the register should be adjusted without changing the integrity, serial number and contents of the column of the register.
Sub rule 2 of rule 2 of the Rules clearly specifies that if the combined registers are at any time required for inspection by the concerned inspector, then the employer is liable to provide all necessary particulars for the purpose of accessing all the information by the concerned inspector.
Maintenance of combined register
- Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 (“Building Construction Act”) and Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1998 (“Building Construction Rules”).
The Building Construction Act regulates the employment conditions of the construction worker if the establishment has more than 10 workers employed in that particular organization. Registers required to be maintained under rule 240 and rule 241 of the Building Construction Rules have been replaced by all the forms mentioned in the Rule. Form number XV, XVI, XVII, XIX, XX, XXI and XXII mentioned under the Building Construction Rules are omitted and substituted by all the forms mentioned in Schedule of the Rule.
- The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 (“Contract Labour Act”) and The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Rules, 1971 (“Contract Labour Rules”):
The Contract Labour Act regulates employment of contract labour in establishments engaging at least 20 contract labourers and provides for abolition of contract labour in certain circumstances. All the forms specified in rule 75 and rule 78 of the Contract Labour Rules, particularly form XIII, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XX, XXII and XXIII shall be omitted and substituted by the relevant forms provided in the schedule of the Rules.
- Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 (“Equal Remuneration Act”) and Equal Remuneration Rules, 1976 (“Equal Remuneration Rules”):
Equal Remuneration Act provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers and for prevention of discrimination on the grounds of sex. Form D mentioned in rule 6 of the Equal Remuneration Rule shall be substituted by Form B of the Rules.
- Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 (“Inter State Migrant Workmen Act”) and Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Central Rules, 1980 (“Inter State Migrant Workmen Rule”):
Establishments having more than 5 inter-state migrant workers is covered under the Inter State Migrant Workmen Act. Inter State Migrant Workmen Act regulates service conditions of the inter-state labourers. Forms XIII, XVII,XVIII,XIX, XX,XXI and XXII specified in rule 49 and 52 of the Inter State Migrant Workmen Act shall be omitted and replaced by forms specified in schedule of the Rule.
- The Mines Act, 1952 (“Mines Act”) and The Mines Rule, 1955 (“Mines Rule”).
Mines Act applies for the welfare and safety requirements of the labourers working in mines. The forms mentioned in the Mine Rules have been replaced by the forms specified in schedule of the Rules.
- The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (“Minimum Wages Act”) and Minimum Wages (Central) Rules, 1950 (“Minimum Wages Rules”)
Minimum Wages Act applies to all factories, commercial establishments and other employments which have been specified in the act and regulates the minimum wages payable to employees by the employer. Forms mentioned in rule 21, 25 and 26 of the Minimum Wages Rules, specifically forms I,II, IV, V, and X shall be substituted with the forms provided in schedule of the Rules.
- The Payment of Wages act, 1936 (“Payment of Wages Act”):
Payment of Wages Act lays procedure and provides timelines, mechanism for the payment of wages to employees and permissible deductions. Various forms have been omitted in Payment of Wages (Air Transport Services Rules), 1968, Payment of Wages Mines Rules, 1956 and Payment of Wages (Railway), Rules, 1938 and which has been substituted by the forms provided in schedule of the Rules.
- Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976 (“Sales Promotion Employees Act”) and Sales Promotion Employees (Condition of Service) Rules, 1976 (“Sales Promotion Employees Rules”):
Sales Promotion Employees Act regulates the conditions of service of sales promotion employees in certain establishments. Forms B, D and E as mentioned in the Sales Promotion Employees Act have been omitted and substituted by the forms mentioned in schedule of the Rules.
- The Working Journalist and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955 (“Working Journalist Act”) and the Working Journalist (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Rules, 1957 (“Working Journalist Rules”).
Working Journalist Act regulates conditions of working journalists and other persons employed in newspaper establishments. Form D, F and G of the Working Journalist Act shall be substituted by the form A, B and D, respectively, as specified in the Rules.
Following new registers will substitute the old formats in all the above mentioned labour laws:
- FORM A – FORMAT OF EMPLOYEE REGISTER
- FORM B – FORMAT FOR WAGE REGISTER,
- FORM C – FORMAT OF REGISTER OF LOANS RECOVERIES
- FORM D – FORMAT OF ATTENDANCE REGISTER.
- FORM E – FORMAT OF REGISTER OF REST/LEAVE/LEAVE WAGES UNDER THE MINES ACT,1952, THE SALES PROMOTION EMPLOYEES (CONDITION OF SERVICE) ACT,1976 AND THE WORKING JOURNALISTS (CONDITIONS OF SERVICE) AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS ACT,1957.
Further, for facilitating the objective of streamlining and making the process digitised, the Labour ministry proposes to develop a software for these five common registers and these registers shall be updated on Shram Suvidha Portal. Besides, under the easier compliance regime new registers have only 144 data fields as against 933 data fields earlier.
These Rules shall make the process of compliance, maintenance and inspection of registration simpler and the information provided by the employer shall be available in public domain thereby increasing transparency while reducing costs..
The notification can be accessed on http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2017/174327.pdf.