International Journal of Law
International Journal of Law
International Journal of Law
Vol. 7, Issue 2 (2021)

Employments acts and migrated labour during Covid-19

Balaram Babu

Employments acts and migrated labour during Covid-19

Balaram Babu

Department, of Law, College: MSS. Law College, Hyderabad, Telangana, India




India has seen over 216,919 confirmed cases and more than 6,075 deaths in the fight against Covid-19. Like most nations, in addition to the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 (NDMA), and the suspension of mass transport services, it has adopted drastic steps such as a nation-wide lockout. Migrants attempting to enter home have been subjected to inhumane beating, disinfection and quarantine conditions that breach the constitutional right to dignity. The disproportionate impact of state policy often violates the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution and imposes a corresponding obligation on the government to mitigate negative effects. While the Indian government flew back people who were stranded abroad, it did not provide internal migrants with similar travel assistance until much later.

Whose job is it to worry of migrant workers moving to other states for jobs from their home states?In our country, where both the central government and the state governments have authority to legislate and function, the Labor Department and the Ministry of Labor may be the obvious solution. While the law has some strong provisions on how the labor departments of each state should track and protect migrants who are recruited, transported and supplied from violence and exploitation to employers in the non-organized labor sectors, the provisions have been unimplemented for almost 4 decades, leading to a lack of safety and security for the most vulnerable migrants in India.

Labour acts may be created by both central and state acts as they fall under the common list of the constitution. In total, there are currently 44 Central Acts and 100 State Acts available. There are powers for State Legislatures to amend any Central Labor Acts. According to Article 254(2) of the Indian Constitution, if any labour acts enacted by States are wholly different from the Central Labour Acts, the President of India must authorize them at that time.For three years, Uttar Pradesh's Bharatiya Janata Party blocked several labor and employment actions. But certain acts, such as the 1966 Building and other Construction Workers Act, the 1923 Workers Honor Act, the 1976 Bonded Labour Eradication Act, etc. Section -5 of the 1936 Payment of Salaries Act is in force. The U.P. government released an order not to enforce such labor acts, such as the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, the Industrial Act of 1948, and for three years, another 30 acts relating to working conditions would be suspended.


Keywords: lockdown, Covid-19, migrant workers, India





The nationwide lockdown announced on March 24 [1] at short notice has caused immense distress to migrant workers around the country and India seems to have unexpectedly awoken to the plight of its internal migrants working in the unorganized labor market. No journalists or social media activists, opposition leaders or those in power, state governments or the central government have witnessed an immediate national lockdown that would end up stranding Bihari service providers employed in Delhi, Bengali carpenters and electricians working in Kerala, Chhattisgarh brick kiln workers working in Uttar Pradesh or roadside vendors in Delhi whose hometowns are in Rajasthan.1Since they do not have access to social media, we have not read social media messages or read tweets from these hundreds and thousands of individuals, it does not occur to them that what has been done to them is wrong and they have a right to complain and demand repatriation services [2].

The migrant workers were, however, unaware about the fact that the lockdown had suspended all public transport until the lockdown was lifted. A large number of the migrants and their families — disappointed and helpless — began undertaking their journeys on foot. Thousands of migrant workers are walking across India in a desperate attempt to reunite with their families in their native places.

Social media along with the National Largest circulating News Papers of all languages are currently filled with heart-breaking images that depict migrant workers walking barefoot, foot with deep ulcers, women holding their children on their waist, mother carrying baby on a suitcase, girl riding bicycles carrying her father for hundreds of Kilometers, etc. These visuals raise concerns about the state governments' plans for the well-being of these migrant workers who have been stranded without food, water wages or shelter since the lockdown began for several days in the heat wave.

Whose job is it to worry of migrant workers commuting to other states for jobs from their home states? The Labor Department and the Ministry of Labor could be the obvious answer in our country, where both the central government and the state governments have authority to legislate and act. While the legislation has some good provisions on how each state's labor departments can monitor and protect migrants who are recruited, transported and supplied to employers in the non-organized labor sectors from abuse and exploitation, the provisions have been unimplemented for almost 4 decades, resulting in the lack of protection and security of India's most vulnerable migrants [3].

Questions are being raised about their welfare and the lack of legal protection for their rights. Those in the field of labour welfare have recalled the 1979 law to regulate the employment and working conditions of Inter-state migrants.


Haunting Problem [4]

(Incessant difficulties of migrant workers)

The lockdown imposed to control the carona virus has damaged severely the livelihood prospects of the migrant labors and daily labors. The migrant workers have not been included in the public distribution system. As such they have not been able to receive any ration in entire Nation which the government announced to supply them free of cost. While the governments, which forced limitation to public, to stay in their home, the administrations have not considered the difficulties of the labourers. In spite of the fact our Prime Minister, solicited the proprietors of the private establishments not to stop the payments of the workers working under them they are obstinate to pay. As such the workers started to return to their native villages from cities and industrial centers.

They scared of dying with hunger than with Carona. On the primary goal the administration needs to arrange legitimate transportation for them had neglected to do it and after expiry of sometime the administrators opened their eyes and involved to send the workers to their home and arranged some Special Sramica Trains, which were not adequate to move the workers who are in lacks in number and still now they going back by walk shaping large groups. Expecting an upheaval by the workers going by walk in groups, the administrators did not dared to stop them. There were occurrences of conflict between the workers and police while they were obstructed making the circumstances confused.

But in the issue of migrant workers, in fact the government has faced much pressure from business class. The industrial owners began to pressurize expecting that if increasingly number of laborers returns back to their home there might be deficit of laborers and they may confront issues in their ordinary works.

Usually the private company owners treat the migrant workers as bonded laborers without allowing them any rights, no written long term agreements, no social security, etc. The government has not taken interest to send back the migrant labors to their home as were interested for the students who were stuck in Rajasthan Palace, and also transported the people of Gujarat and South Indians who were trapped in Varanasi as such this problem became more serious.

As the police personnel’s not permitted these workers who were returning back by walk on the road they began to go on railway tracks. When some of the migrant workers who were resting on railway track died when a train runs over, over them near Aurangabad of Maharashtra, then the authorities allowed them to go by road. The migrant workers were availed every possible method to return back such as bicycles, motor cycles or trucks, any vehicles available and they could afford. Some traveled in auto rickshaws from Mumbai and Delhi. When about 25 workers died in a road accident in Uttar Pradesh, the authorities again imposed strict restrictions to travel by road. Finding no other way the migrant workers traveled through horticultural terrains and corner roads. It’s become difficult for the persons who really wanted to help by supplying these workers’ food, water and to extend any other assistance getting away from the police. The average citizens since most recent couple of months are confronting three kinds of extreme issues one Carona Virus fear, second dread of hunger lastly third one lack of care of the governing bodies.

To maintain a strategic distance from such issues, the government could have assessed the specific number of the migrant workers. They could have arranged the special trains or other transport facilities to make them travel to their places. One ought not to overlook that, the workers are additionally having similar rights to appreciate the equivalent decent status of life like rich and middle class people of this Nation. In spite of the fact that there is some discontentment because of absence of appropriate expectation the administration has not made real strides before forcing the lockdown, even now there are prospects to find a way to lessen the afflictions and enduring of absences of transient laborers. The government should provide them with sufficient train services with connecting buses, providing them with the facilities of mobile health facilities, hygienic food, water, and so forth while transporting the workers. The government should clarify that the program “Vande Mataram” is only for the Indians who were caught down in foreign countries. The Government ought to justify what is its pre-plan and program for migrant workers who plays a key role in the Indian Economy after Agricultural worker.


Life of Labour-During Lock down Period

It is evaluated that each year approximately about 4.5 cores of laborers migrates to diverse places in our Nation to get work. During the lock down period, such workers who are remaining in different states in India having no work, no food and without proper shelter came over to the road. As such, in this hard situation they are daring to go to their native indeed by walk covering 100’s of kilometer of distance. The authorities now took care of them to send to their native by trains and buses. For the Indian laborers staying outside the country arranged to transport in Flights and Ships.

Standard workers association network has studied, the present situation of the fate of the migrant workers of the nation during this corona effected days and has revealed their disastrous life how worse they are leading and expressing their anguish.

92% of Migrant workers are not receiving any salary. So, monetary Problems make them to go back to their village. Reveal the above study.


64% who have Rs.100 or less migrant workers?

70% who does not have even one day ration

93% who have not received any ration from government?

97 % have not received any help from government.


In the investigation of Standard laborers association network it was uncovered that about 92% of Migrant specialists had not been paid pay rates by their owners at this terrible time of carona and nearly everybody is living with tears. This association is investing workers troubles and issues of whole country and published the distressing state and conditions of the workers. All the Nationalised and Private Banks too barbarously charged Rs.499/- as fine for not having legitimate balance in their account. To return to their native town/village, numerous migrant workers taking some hand loans from their relatives and companions and some returning along with small children in this extreme heat by walk.

The little bit amount they saved so far were been spent due to lock down for food and other essentials. The investigation uncovered that 78% of them don't have adequate cash to come back to their home. Some of them are in the plan to remain here to acquire cash and returning back means they need to make an ever increasing number of loans. 30% of the migrant workers communicated that after lock down overs, they will proceed with their old proprietor and another 30% are not yet chosen what they will do after lock down. 16% of them intend to return and quest for any work there in their old neighborhood or town. Some workers paying Rs.1.30 lakhs to each truck, which they commonly divided it among them for returning back to their home. The study additionally expressed that as there is no arrangement of One Country-One Card the Migrant Workers Are Failed to get Ration From Government.


National Strategy on Migrant laborers [5]

The life of the migrant laborers becomes shattered as all the services, except the essential services are frozen. It is heartbreaking by watching grievous circumstance of lacks of migrant workers who have gone to a very distance states looking for work leaving own families and could not return to their villages even by walk having no information how their own families are leading life with no work and money. At the beginning of the lockdown, the UP, Bihar and Rajasthan governments to bring back their migrant laborers called back to their states and wide arrangements have been made to send them by buses. By complying with the guidelines of the Central Government to keep them where they are, the State governments which were kept quite are now as the lockdown period is heading off to an end, they again began to bring back their laborers. Recently the Central Home Ministry allowed the repatriation of 3,800 Sikh pilgrims who were caught in Nanded. In this background, the Maharashtra Government pronounced that it is ready to send back the 3.5 lacks of migrant workers belongs to UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. The UP and MP governments assured to arrange to call back their laborers who were migrated. It cannot be neglected that, calling back to lacks of workers from the zones where the Covid influence is high will prompt new threat and emergency. Perceiving the appalling circumstance of the migrant laborers as a National Problem, an extensive arrangement ought to be explored.

The World Bank ‘4’days back in its report communicated that in entire India there is availability of 4 cores of migrant workers and the lockdown has severe side effects to them. The financial review in the year 2016-17 says by doing hard manual labor the money they used to send to their home is around one and half lacks every year. It is clysters clear like a mirror which shows the horrifying situation of the ill-fated migrant workers, field wise, expressing that they are supposed dying with hunger rather than Carona Virus even though both the Central and State governments are attempting to help them. The Central Government wanted to collect the details of the unorganized laborers through an online portal and trying to dispense money along with all other benefits.

The Central decided to collect the details of 22 lacks of the migrant workers who are getting shelter in the tents, recognizing their skills, it wanted to provide jobs integrating them to the nearest industries. As their skills were not mentioned anywhere in the collected details it was laid there where it was.

The Oddisha government says, any migrant labor wanted to return has to enroll his name through web portal which is mandatory and only after complying those setup it will decided when and who has to come. The UP government already decided to have a look on 15 lacks migrant workers to place them in jobs within upcoming few weeks. After conducting the covid test in their return travel and keeping them in 14 days quarantine after reaching repatriation then only they will be allowed to go to their homes is the idea of the States on which a National Policy is necessary to frame. The idea of the States are after conducting the covid test in their return travel and keeping them in 14 days quarantine after repatriation then only they will be allowed to go to their homes. There should be an efficient National strategy on this issue.


Under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution [6]

Activists filed a Public Interest Lawsuit (PIL) in which they proposed that migrant workers who are stranded at a migration site should be paid the minimum wages before the lockout is over. The provision of minimum wages as employees obtain meals and food grains was, however, one of the questions posed by the Supreme Court of India (Stranded Workers Action Network, 2020).

According to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, the basic rights of individuals are not limited to mere life, but also to the right to citizens' livelihoods, dignity, equality and health. The same should also, of course, be applied to the deprived class, while the free spirit of a civic society should have the right to live with dignity and to be treated fairly. The fundamental disparity in the socio-economic structure of India, however, violates the human rights of the people of the Republic of India. On 25 March 2020, for example, only a four-hour notice was issued to its residents prior to announcing the full shutdown that resulted in many migrant jobs.


Setback Period for Workers [7]

John Dreez, Noble Awardees, who composed numerous writings alongside Amartyasen and Honorary Professor of Delhi School of Economics, Visiting professor of Ranchi University and conducting a study in poverty, hunger and public distribution system in India since last 4 decades, referenced that it is the primary obligation of both Central and State Governments to re-engage the migrant workers who returned to their home village at the hour of lockdown period providing work and taking necessary actions to make them liberated from enduring with appetite and afflictions. Further Dreez advised that by way of coordination both the Central and as well as the State governments should bring a large number of these migrant workers under the Public distribution system by distributing sufficiently the food grains which are surplus in huge amount in Food Corporation of India.


Rehabilitation Centres Should Continue

Further, this investigation suggests to continue the rehabilitations centers established by the government for migrant workers. The centers should supply those three months essentials like free ration, pulses, consumable oil, salt, masala, soaps, sanitary napkins and other required items. After lock down additionally it ought to be proceeded for an additional 12 hours and the laborers must get pay repayment.


Employment Acts and Migrated labourers

Scissoring to employment acts [8]

Certain states believe that it is necessary to alter the labour acts to strengthen the economic system which was deteriorated because of lock down to get ever increasing foreign investments. Opposition parties as well as resistance groups just as worker’s guilds, contending that in the name of amendments governments are pulling back the privileges of laborers. Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat governments not implemented to execute certain Workers Acts whereas legislatures of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachala Pradesh and Uttarkandh broadened working hours and crushing the labour and employment acts. All things considered, different governments may likewise follow the equivalent.

Bharatiya Janata Party of Uttar Pradesh blocked many labour and employment acts for three years. But some acts like the Building and other constructions workers act of 1966, Workers honorium Act of 1923, Bonded Labour Eradication act of 1976, Section -5 of payment of wages act of 1936 are in operation. U.P government brought an ordinance not to execute some labour acts such as Minimum wages Act of 1948, Industrial disputes act of 1947, Industrial act of 1948 and another 30 acts related to workers work conditions will be halted for three years.


Agitations in every place

The Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat governments are following the equivalent path. As such, hereafter the Industries will only employ the workers when needed or otherwise those will eliminate them if not necessary. The new Industries not required to take care of proper hygiene and health care activities, they may execute more hour of work than usual hours prescribed in the acts. Some different governing bodies like Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachala Pradesh and Uttarkhand however permitted to expand the working hours of the laborers from 8 hours to 12 hours in a day yet the Industries which are executing more hours need to pay Overtime recompenses. The worker's guilds, just as resistance groups and other social activists express their disdain. Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) objected this type of exposing of workers saying that, it is an activity, making the laborers being slaves, who are genuine national financial makers.

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi criticized that, removing of the rights and privileges of labours, keeping perilous outstanding burden on their shoulders, throttling their neck, ransacking their endeavors for the sake of carona infection is generally hopeless and most noticeably terrible thing for ever. Eventually, B.M.S, the trade union which is associated with Bharatiya Janata Party and as well with R.S.S also objected the states labor acts alteration.

Both Central and State can form labour acts as it comes under joint list of the constitution. Total there are 44 Central acts and 100 State acts accessible at present. State Assemblies have power to amend any Central Labour Acts. Article 254(2) of Indian constitutions says, if any labor acts promulgated by States are altogether different from Central Labour Acts, at that point those must take the assent of the President of India. Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Legislatures declaring certain Ordinances under Article 213 of Constitution kept the Central Labour Acts under suspension. Article 213 of Constitution empowers the concerned Governors of the State can Sign the Ordinance during the days when State Assemblies could not held meetings.


Suspense on Central Decision [9]

It is the responsibility of the Central government to decide whether to allow the abolition of labour laws or not which are done by different States. The decision has come mainly from the Bharatiya Janata Party ruled States and is interesting to see what the Central Government is doing.

Regardless of whether, President of India approves the State governments proposed annulment of certain labor acts that may be challenged in the court of law as unconstitutional. It is nothing like that, work by force is not to mean bonded labour nor slavery. The Honorable Supreme Court of India has given a reasonable and expanded significance on account of PUDR versus India (1982) where contractors occupied with the Asian Games. On the off chance that any worker paid not exactly the particular sum endorsed in the demonstration, it will go under Article 23 of the constitution and viewed as persuasive work. As such restricting the Minimum wages Act of 1948 by various States is unlawful to fundamental rights. The activity taken by the States are additionally against to the International Labor Organization (ILO) 144 convention. In the past India likewise consented to on that arrangement. The States movement is overwhelming weight to the laborers who are to the workers who are presently socially and monetarily enduring much due to Carona infection. It is both unlawful and immoral. Because of suspension of certain labor acts, owners will get exemptions from providing the minimum health and safety prerequisites in the work environment, for example, security steps to forestall fire, construction of toilets both for male and female, installation of security equipment’s and so forth. However, it is lethal and expanding danger to workers. The Human Rights associations are perturbing regarding unorganized sector labors who are more in the nation and without legitimate rights and now the nullification of specific rights in the organized sector of labors is only dishonorable and dismal.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


The Existing Acts neither Helpful nor Mitigating Hungry [10]

  • Deactivation of 1979 Act
  • Struggling of migrant workers.


The destiny of transient laborers who could not have food without laboring, are moving to far distance 100’s of kilometer to any city or town where they are exceptionally new to the spot and remaining in tin sheds or colossal funnels with no base comforts. Alongside this pitiable state of the laborers, the Carona Infection brought severe commotion to their life, no work, and no food, unfit to remain at a spot and unable to return to their own town/villages confronting incredible troubles.

In spite of the fact that there are sure reinforcing acts to ensure these laborers they neglected to get appropriate equity. From starting there is the issue of migrant laborers. Because of the interest of numerous States the Act of 1979 Interstate Migrant Work Men (Regulation of work of employment and conditions of service) has come.


The Under Mentioned Are Their Rights

  1. As per the Act of 1948 the migrant workers should get equal amount of pay according to the inhabitant laborers.
  2. The State governments must appoint administrative officials to execute these acts properly.
  3. They have to register the details of the owners and contractors.
  4. They have to be paid daily allowances for working in other state leaving their own.
  5. It is mandatory to provide free accommodation and health facilities.


Responsibilities of the Owners

  1. They need to give a pass book with their photograph enrolling the name of the worker, working spot, period of employment.
  2. Interstate workers names and other particulars should be enlisted..
  3. If they met any mishaps because of the carelessness of the contractors, they must inform the related officers of the both States and to the family members of the workers.
  4. With registering the particulars of the worker, no contractor is allowed to utilize their services in other State.
  5. As contempt of the act they will be punished if not executing these standards and guidelines of the act.
  6. They will be punished if not implementing these rules and regulations.


The Prevailing Situation

At present more than 10 cores of migrant workers are available in our Nation. Estimation says on an average there may be 10 to 15 lacks of migrant workers in the State of Telangana who have originated from the States of Bihar, U.P, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Oddisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and different states. As because, the names and particulars of these workers, have not been maintained appropriately by the owners or by the contractors, the administration itself prepared the list of these workers at the hour of lockdown. Totally 2.78 lacks of workers enlisted their names. But Chief Minister of Telangana himself announced that there may be at least 3.5 lacks working as Hamalis in Telangana state. As the part of lockdown activity the State Government has taken steps to send these workers to their native places arranged special trains.


They Should Concentrate on

Both the Central government and State should focus on the difficulties and welfare of migrant workers. Their names and other particulars should be enlisted in the office of the local gram panchayat’s/municipalities/corporations. From public distribution channel they ought to get ration. Separate portals must be maintained for these workers.


Serious Troubles over the Reforms

There is no doubt that the lockdown imposed, to face the impacts of Covid pandemic, made the economic system of the nation more intolerable. During this crucial period when the BJP government, which is ruling in Central introducing Priminister’s Garib Kalyana Yojana Scheme, various supporting activities on the other side the BJP governments of different States moving very actively. The governments of Assam, Karnataka, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP parties are ruling to attract, more investments taking speedy steps to approve the reforms in labour and employment acts.


Simplifying the terms

The Introduction of a fixed term of employment, broadening the working hours of laborers from 8 hours to 12 hours’ time, appointing minimum of laborers to implement labor act, enhancing the number of labors from 20 to 50 members for implementation of the contract labor act, allowing exception of registration to the industries having less number of laborers than prescribed, withdrawal of maintenance of records by authorities for assessment purpose etc. are included in this reforms. Along with these the concern governments are also considering to permit certain relaxations in future for sever standards and constraints. They needed to streamline the severe guidelines like the advantages permitted to workers such as hygienic environment, removal of squanders, accessibility of free air and light, the availability of pure drinking water, toilets, and place for relaxation and eating, facilities for child wellbeing, salary in holidays and other standards of labor acts. In Madhya Pradesh the BJP government putting its leg a step forward, modified the Agriculture Products Market Act. As such the private owners can also procure the agricultural products. Previously the agricultural products are to be sold only in the societies maintained by people for minimum support price. The mediators were getting more profit from these societies.

Basing on various causes the Industrial owners welcome the reforms of the labor and employment acts. They depict these adjustments in labor acts, as next generation reforms for which they are waiting since long. It is essential for the remarks of Mr.Niranjan Hiranandhini, President “ASSOCHOM’, who expressed that, at this present troublesome state to survive the industries and its condition it is profoundly important to make certain reforms in the labor acts and the reforms brought by the States will be useful to run the ventures in an advantage way.

There are certain reasons to support the changes in the labor acts by the industrial owners and to become happy. There may be shortage in the availability of the migrant labors as they have gone to their natives. But, because of certain changes in the labor acts, without any problem from labor authorities, as no more checking and supervision from them, the industrial owners may extend their industries and can engage the workers more hours on duty. But the labor unions are enraged at these decisions and opposing it. It is noteworthy that, the CITU leader Mr. Tapan Sharma very strongly criticized the changes in the labor act, saying that the government taking the plea of lockdown, making an agenda to convert the laborers into slaves, the relaxation means no implementation of the acts; the workers of small industries will not get what they legally owe and relinquish their minimum pay permitted by law.

Though the trade unions are displaying an anti-establishment attitude towards the reform of the law, many other independent professionals strongly disagree with these claims. The fact is that the old labor laws prevented the growth of big business in India, resulting in large-scale disorganization of the labor market. They further challenges that, because of the oldest labor acts, the business establishments in India are not in large number. It is estimated that in India there are 6.30 cores of companies but out of it only 18,500 complies have 10 cores paid-up capital.

Whatever be the contentions of various unions, in the states where the BJP is ruling strongly proceeding on the liberalization issue. On the other side, in the Central Modi government is keeping silent in such disputable matter is shocking. When Central government as its share offer stimulus packages to make easy for the state governments to attract investments and at the same time reforms are allowed, because when the BJP ruling states are advancing forward to attract more investments with reforms, then there will be pressure on other states to reform their own labor acts is the belief of the government plan. Then again it is vital to take note of that, Rahul Gandhi, the Congress head, condoms the changes in labor act, saying it implies abusing the human rights, along with the congress which is the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Majdursang (BMS), a sister concern of the RSS labor party also condoms the BJP administering states labor reforms which are making advantage to investors and putting aside the benefits of the laborers. Mr. Sajji Narayana clearly indicated that, they will never permit this type of wilderness realm and they never allow the laborers to be in the grasp of the corporate. Whatever be the criticisms of various unions or categories, the BJP Central leaders are keeping silent on this issue. It is noteworthy to note that, the leaders clarify all the recent changes in. labor acts are under the control of the respective states.


Under The States Control

As a part of the first economic reforms, in the beginning of the year 1990, the then Finance Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh simplified our nation’s industrial procedure. Thereafter, for three decades there were no advancements. After the year 2014, when the Modi Government came to rule, they have started severe attempts to refine the oldest labor acts. As a part of this, they have divided into four chapters, i.e. Salaries, Labor Disputes, Job Security and Health and Social Security. The Parliament has already approved the Salary document, though the cabinet ministers approved the disputes act, still it has to get the approval of the parliament and in regard to Job Security and Health and Social Security acts are pending with parliamentary committee’s inspection. The Labor and Employment topic are coming under Common List. One ought not to overlook that, all the above four sections are the Parliament acts. As the labor and employment acts are comes under common list of the Central and States, the States can make changes in the acts without the endorsement of the Central Government.


Rs. 50, 000 cores for migrant workers [11]

  • With an aim of 125 days employment ‘Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhinayan’- inauguration by Prime Minister on 20th June 2020.


For Migrant workers employment the Central Government prepared a very new scheme with Rs.50, 000 cores. With this scheme migrant workers of 116 districts from the States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Oddisha and Jharkhand will get employment for 125 days. The Central Government integrated 25 schemes which it is implementing and the funds from those schemes are using to this new scheme. The Prime Minister inaugurated this new scheme from the village Telihar in Khagaria district of Bihar through video conference. Mrs Nirmala Sitaraman, Central Finance Minister said, the new scheme implemented will utilize the funds of the 25 schemes which were allotted in the budget, the migrant workers who returned to their districts during lockdown are selected for these scheme. The works undertaken will be finished in 125 days is the schemes aim said Mrs. Nirmala Sitaraman.


Rebuilding confidence with migrants: Social protection is key [12]

It states that India has dedicated just 1 percent of its GDP (USD 22 billion) to COVID-19 relief efforts, despite numerous broad and ongoing social security programs. Both panelists stressed that the key to restoring confidence with migrants and motivating them to return to urban centers is robust social security. Efficient state-level use of net social security services connected to centrally linked programmes linked to centrally sponsored schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) will be crucial.



The initiatives also need to take into account the challenges that migrants frequently face. Governments can work to incorporate migrants into existing programs to ensure that all communities are safe against the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. Access to social security, including provisions for documentation and variations in languages. It will be difficult to identify migrants, particularly where they are for example, projects to encourage seasonal work in agriculture would need to include health screenings, guidance on how work should be done, and strategies for responding if a migrant worker falls ill.

In the long term, India should work by amending labor laws to reduce the insecurity of migrant workers. Such amendments should match the conditions of migrant workers with those of other unorganized workers in the industry, while at the same time establishing requirements for food protection, repatriation and wage security in times of emergency. While emergency measures are urgent, they must pave the way for addressing more fundamental issues.Via social security mechanisms, including social safety net services, job retention policies, and employment promotion policies, both the sending and receiving countries may provide vital support to migrants. These policies and programmes may be assisted by changes to migration regulations.

The minimum wage for the next three months can be shifted to those who are still stuck in the city and have accounts in the bank, under the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana. It would encourage the employees to achieve the ends (SWAN, 2020). Also, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Jobs Guarantee Act, salaries can be paid to those who have gone to their native places and are not employed (MGNREGA).

This can be done by integrating migrant workers into the health care system as beneficiaries, providing them with social, legal and occupational protection. There is, however, a need to formally register and use a widely recognized identification number/card for this. Last but not least, the government should make it easier for small industries to generate more employment opportunities for rural people, particularly in rural areas, so that they do not feel compelled to come to the city to earn their livelihood. Even if saying this is a cliché, this technique is too important to be ignored.

Finally, the pandemic has provided us with a vivid explanation of how we have failed as a nation by not celebrating one of the most industrious and hard-working classes and by compromising their integrity and life. The anger and sense of humiliation of migrant workers would serve as an immense obstacle to the reconstruction of the economy. Therefore, instead of preserving their status as secondary residents, we need to begin to incorporate migrants in our mainstream society.



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How to cite this article:
Balaram Babu. Employments acts and migrated labour during Covid-19. International Journal of Law, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2021, Pages 37-43
International Journal of Law