Work From Home Leads To Less Salary? Labor Unions Oppose New WFH Rules By Govt

Read the story to know why labour unions are opposing the WFH Proposal

Information technology and related services industry, which is now worried about additional compliances, is not batting an eye with the proposed WFH(Work from home) framework.

The distortion of labour market as well as the probability of employers reducing salaries are the reasons why labour unions are opposing the WFH provision.

On Monday, 11th January the industry will flag the issue at a meeting with the labour ministry.

Model standing orders have been issued by ministry under the Industrial Relations Code, 2020 for the services sector separately.

Compliance Burden After Formalized WFH:-

WFH has been formalized by government and as per the orders, allowed employers and employees in the IT sector to mutually decide the work hours which may not be binding as per the Code. Daily 8 hours with a spread over of 12 is to be applicable to factories and other industrial establishments.

Since it aims to formalize service-related matters in an amicable manner, the government is of the view that these separate model standing orders will pave the way for industrial harmony.

According to an IT/ITeS expert, the sector already had the flexibility of work from home and the standing order would impose an additional compliance burden. The expert spoke to ET on the condition of anonymity.

“Whether state governments align their orders with this will be a matter of concern, especially for companies operating out of multiple states” added the expert while telling that the state governments will be the implementing authority for the order.

The IT sector has previously argued that it has worked as per the global clock and therefore could be bound by shift and work regulations under the Code and hence been demanding exemption from the Code on Industrial Relations for some time.

This move by government will enhance the obligations of employer, said legal experts.
Pooja Ramchandani, a partner at law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, said that “Interplay of other laws with flexible working hours and work-from-home norms would need to be analysed with respect to employers’ obligation for payment of overtime pay and  and provision of crèche facility, among others”.

Unhappy Trade Unions:-

The RSS-affiliated trade union, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh said that as the WFH is detrimental to the interest of workers, it would oppose the proposal to formalize it.
Vrijesh Upadhayay, a former general secretary of BMS said that “The idea of work from home is nothing but cheap employment. Companies cut down on conveyance and other expenses paid to the employees in the process”.

He added that “The concept of work from home will not only impact economic growth but also have serious implications on the family ties and overall work environment in the country”.

The labour ministry is finalizing the rules for the Industrial Relations Code, which is one of the four labour codes. The Social Security Code, the Wage Code and the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions are the other three codes.
The plan is to implement all the four codes, which amalgamate 29 labour laws, from April 1, 2021.

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