Lok Sabha passed Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill 2016 

Lok Sabha passed Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill 2016Current Affairs: Lok Sabha  passed the Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill 2016 on 9th August, which would raise the cap on amount of compensation to be taken up by high courts.
Highlight of Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill 2016
  • Section 30 of the Employees’ Compensation Act 1923 provides for appeal in high courts whenever the disputed amount of compensation is more than Rs 300. The bill seeks to raise this to Rs 10,000, which may be further increased through a notification later.
  • The bill  provides for increase in penalty for contravention of the Act to Rs 50,000 from the current Rs 5000 that may be later raised to Rs 1 lakh.
  • The Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923, provides for payment of compensation to workmen and their dependents in the case of injury by industrial accidents, including certain occupational diseases arising out of and in the course of employment resulting in death or disablement.
  • The Bill  proposes to impose penalty for failure to display provisions of the Act. It provides for making it obligatory on the employer to inform the employee of his rights to compensation under the Act, in writing as well as through electronic means.
  • The  Bill is based on the report of the Law Commission which intends to close more litigations at the level of Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation appointed by state governments for a particular area.
  • The Act provides under section 30A that the labour commissioner could exercise discretion to withhold payment of an employee whenever an appeal in a high court is filed.
  • The legislation propose to omit Section 30A. With this omission, the amount can be withheld only when there is a stay or order to that effect by the high court where the appeal has been filed by the employer.
This is the second key labour legislation passed by the Lok Sabha in the ongoing monsoon session, first being amendment to the Child Labour Act and reflect government’s commitment to labour reforms. The bill will now be placed before Rajya Sabha and the changes will be notified following its passage in the Upper House.
The Law Commission of India, in its reports in 1974 and 1989 related to the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, (now known as Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923), had recommended to review/amend/repeal various provisions of the Act.

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