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Labour ministry formalises work from home for services sector


The labour ministry has formalised work from home for the services sector while leaving it for the employers in the IT sector to mutually decide the work hours for its employees.

Besides, to safeguard the IT industry, the ministry has prescribed involvement in unauthorized access of any IT system, computer network of the employer, customer or client as a misconduct under the separate model standing orders for services sector prepared by the government for the first time.

“Pursuant to section 29 of the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, the central government has published the draft model standing orders for the manufacturing sector, mining sector and service sector,” the labour ministry said. “Keeping in view the needs of the services sector, a separate model standing orders for the services sector has been prepared for the first time,” it said.

According to the draft standing orders, uniformity has been maintained in all the three model standing orders while providing some flexibility considering the sector-specific requirements. The government has put up the standing orders for public comments over the next thirty days.

Besides, rail travel facilities have been extended to the workers in the mining sector. Presently, it is being availed by the workers in coal mines only.

Further, the draft standing orders have defined “habitual” with respect to indiscipline if the worker is found guilty of any misconduct three or more times in preceding twelve months.

“These model standing orders will pave the way for industrial harmony in the country as it aims to formalize the service-related matters in an amicable manner,” the labour ministry said in its standing orders dated January 1, 2021.

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

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