In 1999, the Government of Kerala declared its ‘Labour Agenda»for the welfare of workers. It consists of setting up of a Labour Bank to provide micro credit to the workers, houses for all workers, state insurance for workers in the unorganized sector, a Labour Academy to provide quality education to the children of workers and a series of other measures involving employees, employers and Government. The redressal fora or ‘Pariharavedies’ for speedy solution of worker’s problems have emerged as an effective administrative mechanism benefiting thousands of workers in the State. The salient features of the ‘Labour agenda’ include:
- Setting up of a Labour Bank to provide micro credit to the workers on easy terms and liberate them from debt trap.
- Setting up a Labour Commission to review existing labour laws and suggest necessary modifications.
- Implementation of the “Shelter for All” Project to provide houses for all workers in time bound manner.
- Comprehensive insurance scheme - to provide social security to the workers in the unorganized sector.
- Labour Academy - to provide quality education to the children.
- An Institute of Labour Studies and Management - to ensure capacity building among them through training
- A Labour Authority - to be set up to co-ordinate the different social security intitatives.
- Redressal fora in every district to take speedy decisions on the grievances of workers.
- A special scheme to provide assistance to workers in the factories under lockout.
- A State Labour Conference as a tripartite body of employees ,employers and government in order to evolve a consensus on important matters in the labour sector.
- Abolition of Child labour.
- Observing Labour year with a view to stimulating the labour sector.
Kerala has taken the initiatives in providing social security to workers such as old age pension, gratuity, medical assistance, assistance for the education of children, assistance for the marriage of women. These social security benefits are administrated through various Labour Welfare Boards in the State. The Labour Authority aimes at streamlining the working of these boards to provide total social security cover to the workers.
Institute of Labour Studies and Management
The Institute is envisaged as a center of excellence conducting studies and research in industrial relations and management and providing training and re-training to workers and management in tune with the requirements of the national and international labour market. It will be run with the active involvement of the tripartite stakeholders - employees, employers and the Government.