ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Labour Laws and Migrants


The Indian government treated the COVID-19 pandemic as a disaster and declared the longest national lockdown by closing down industrial establishments and the mass exodus of labour and migrant workers. The lockdowns have brought an economic halt bringing loss of revenue and closure of enterprises and industries, and retrenchment and lay-off of labourers. The Indian working class is reeling under fear psychosis and job-related stress. The plight and adversity created by the pandemic has led to escalating healthcare costs and debt bondage. The Indian workers are going through a transition and need adequate wages and job security. The migrant workers are prone to the COVID-19 contagion because they typically live in exiguity, cramped environments and appalling occupational health conditions.

The government resorted to Sections 6, 10, 38 and 72 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 in containing the catastrophic dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic. It clamped down with the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 to regulate contagion and confinement by the punitive Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Meanwhile, the ministries of labour and home affairs implored industrial houses for the equitable and compassionate treatment of workers during the pandemic. The Ministry of Labour and Employment directed all the business and industrial establishments for the cessation of employees’ termination, and slashing of remuneration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Home Affairs ordered the paymasters for timely disbursement of wages and prohibition on unauthorised deduction during the closure in the lockdown. To boost the economy and to come out of the morass of the lockdown, the governments revamped the economic and fiscal setting of industries and factories.

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Updated On : 9th Jan, 2021
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