Contract Workers In Govt PSUs Rise By 178% As Permanent Employees Resigning: But Why?
The trend of ‘job casualisation’ is on a rise in the Indian markets and the scene is hot not just in the private domain (as expected) but also in the public sector domains.
Government records show that the number of hires of non-permanent workers and contractual workers in central public sector enterprises or CPSEs have increased gradually in the last four years.
While the share of non-permanent workers in CPSEs contributed to only 19% in 2015-16, it has increased to 37% of the total strength in 2019-20.
That being said, the number of permanent workers in the segment too, have reduced in the same period.
Rise in the Number of Contract & Daily Workers
The reliance of public sector companies on daily wages workers and contractual workers have been on a rise, since the past few years.
According to data provided by the Public Enterprises Survey for 2019-2020, a total of 53,127 casual workers were appointed as of March 31, 2020, compared to 19,103 such workers at the end of March 2016.
Additionally, the count of contractual workers in CPSEs rose from 2,67,929 in March 2016 to 4,98,807 in March 2020.
While the share of daily-wage workers rose by 178% from 2015-16 to 2019-20, that for contractual workers rose by 86%.
For the same period, the count of permanent employees in CPSEs reduced by 25%.
Petroleum Sector Hires Most Casual Workers
It has been reported that different sectors hire varying numbers of casual and contract workers.
Of them, the petroleum sector hires the most number of casual workers and contractual employees, as depicted by the Public Enterprises Survey for 2019-2020.
Following it are the Mining and Engineering PSUs.
Some of the PSUs hiring the highest numbers of non-permanent employees today, did not hire any back in 2015-2016, or if they did, the count was very low.
Organisations like ONGC and Food Corporation of India hired no contractual workers in 2015 or 2016.
Petroleum PSUs like,
- IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation) at the end of March 2020, had a total of 73,070 contractual workers, which constituted 69% of its total strength of 1.06 lakh.
- BPCL (Bharat Petroleum) reported 72% or 28,923 of its total strength of 40,172, to be made of contractual employees.
- ONGC too, came from no contractual workers to 43,397 contractual workers and employees, forming about 81% of its staff, by the end of March 2020.
A major reason for reduction in the number of permanent workers is the voluntary retirement schemes being rolled out in CPSEs.
A total of 6.3 lakh employees have opted for the VRS after it was introduced in October 1998.
However, the compensation of regular staffers has continued to rise as the average emoluments grew. The average pay of a regular employee has climbed more than 40% since 2015-16, states Moneycontrol.