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In the fresh development in the recent pandemic of COVID-19, we get to saw many legal developments coming. To save the health workers from any mishappening the central government comes with an ordinance for safeguarding their lives, as in recent some incident occurred where they faced attacks by miscreants. Again, due to this Pandemic, we get to see a new ordinance, as, amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, an increasing number of states have pushed through changes to their labour laws by way of the ordinance or executive orders.

The recent development we get to see is from Uttar Pradesh as the government has approved an ordinance titled “Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020”, the ordinance is passed to boost the economy of the state. Ordinance exempting business from the purview of all labour laws except some laws for the period of three years. The subject Labour comes in a concurrent list so the ordinance has been sent for approval to the central government. The CM had as of late demonstrated a correction in the workplace laws to attract new venture to the state particularly from China in the post-lockdown stage to help the draining economy. Truth be told, the image of income age is a significant reason for worry for the state specialists as the principal month of the current money related year has gathered significant misfortunes leaving the state coffers truly vacant.

The laws which become defunct are related to settling industrial disputes, health and working conditions of workers, occupational safety, contract workers, trade union-related laws, laws related to Migrant workers. The Ordinance retains the three Act mainly Bonded Labour Act, 1976, Employee Compensation Act, 1923, and Building and Other Construction Workers’ Act, 1996. Also, laws related to the deployment of women and children and the timely payment of salaries will not be relaxed. The changes in Labour laws will be applied to both the existing businesses and the new factories in the state.

Each coin has two faces, same with this ordinance as there are arguments in favour of this and also in against of it. “The idea is that in the present circumstances where we need to provide employment to workers who have migrated back to the state and to protect the existing employment, some flexibility has to be given to business and industry,” said by Chief secretary of UP. Also, a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Centre at George Mason University appreciated the step and said this should have been done a decade ago. However, a Delhi based lawyer said that it will be a pure violation of Fundamental rights and presented other arguments against the ordinance.

In the recent legal development UP is not only the state who suspends labour laws, but it’s the only state who passed an ordinance for it. But other states also took steps on the same lines by executive actions like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh government has also suspended many labour laws for the next 1000 days. States have begun easing labour laws to attract investment and encourage industrial activity. The main reason behind this steps is to protect the existing employees and to provide employment to workers who have migrated from another state due to lockdown and COVID-19, to increase the revenue of states which have fallen due to closure of industrial units due to lockdown. Labour reform has been a demand for the industrial sector from a long time and in present time it’s the necessity due to pandemic, also changes became necessary as it also helps investor as they will not stuck in a web of laws and red-tapism. But there are also some issues involved the most important one is it may create insecurity among the workers, denying the rights of workers violation of human rights and fundamental rights.


Shelal Lodhi Rajput is currently studying Law at the Symbiosis Law School.

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