Knowledge Paper Summary
India is about to witness, what we at BCP Associates consider the biggest legal transformation in its history with the proposed 4 new labour codes which are slated to take effect sometime this year. In our exclusive knowledge paper, we discuss the history of the Indian Labour Laws and how we, as a nation, have arrived at the cusp of a transformative inflection point which will lay the foundation for enabling India to accelerate its economic and social growth over the next several decades.
The proposed Labour Codes will mark the beginning of a new era. The new codes will replace a set of older laws with the intent to consolidate, simplify and digitize them to enable ease of doing business and make compliance easier. This is in line with the digitization happening across sectors in the country and thus shift working and production processes towards a much leaner and sharper way of functioning. To further contextualize, we need to travel back in time a few decades to understand the reason why the Indian industry and workforce is where it is today.
Post our independence, the newly formed government put a huge emphasis on industrializing the country, particularly factories and mills and with the creation of large and heavy industry during the 50s and 60s. The intent was to build a strong industrial foundation, job creation and social upliftment. During this period, the focus was on production and growth, rather than on internal processes and compliance, which was largely nonexistent. In the 1960s & 70s, with growth in industrialization came a wave of strikes and lockouts. This led to the government introducing several laws and measures to alleviate the situation, protect worker’s rights and ensure the workforce and economy was not impacted.
During the mid to late 80s, India began to see the birth of the services industry. India rolled out its liberalization policy in the early 90s which enabled the IT sector to grow by leaps and bounds. Once India opened its doors for multi-nationals to setup shop, be it a service industry or a factory, the labour landscape went through a seismic shift. The MNCs began to put more emphasis on the wellbeing of the employees and a structured and disciplined way of operating via strict policy enforcement and compliance adherence. The Indian economy boomed, created wealth for the middle and lower middle class and uplifted the society as a whole. This also brought to fore several gaps and challenges with the existing labour and employment laws which is more aligned to the industrial sector, creating the need for reforms.
The knowledge paper discusses all these and much more. Write to us at [email protected] to get an exclusive copy.