have found a prominent place in the labour code on occupational safety, health and
with the legislation mandating that central and
maintain a database on a portal for such workers.
The bill, which was presented in
, also stipulates journey allowance for migrant workers, benefits of the
public distribution system
either in their native state or the state where they work.
The focus on migrant workers in the legislation comes against the backdrop of the massive movement of migrant workers to their home towns and villages in the aftermath of the lockdown imposed to ward off the spread of Covid-19. The mass exodus of migrant workers from cities had triggered a debate about their welfare and there were calls to ensure that proper facilities are provided to them in the state of their employment.
The bill says that central government and the states shall maintain the database or record, for inter-state migrant workers, electronically or otherwise in a portal and in any form as may be prescribed by the Centre. An inter-state migrant worker may register himself on such a portal on the basis of self-declaration and
.Workers who have migrated from one state to any other state and are self-employed in that other state may also register themselves on that portal, the bill said.
The bill has a separate section on inter-state migrant workers and states that rules shall apply to every establishment in which ten or more inter-state migrant workers are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months. The bill says that it shall be the duty of every contractor or the employer, of an establishment employing inter-state migrant workers to ensure suitable conditions of work to such worker having regard to the fact that he is required to work in a state different from his own.
In case of fatal accident or serious injury to any such worker, the employer will report the same to the specified authorities of both the states and also the next of kin of the worker and to extend all benefits to such worker which are available to a worker of that establishment including benefits under the
Employees’ State Insurance
Act, or the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, or any other law for the time being in force and the facility of medical check-up.
The bill makes it clear that the employer shall pay, to every inter-state migrant worker employed in his establishment, in a year a lumpsum amount of fare for to and fro journey to his native place from the place of his employment.
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