Multiplicity of social security laws in our country has made their compliance a complete nightmare for organizations. Consolidation of all such laws regulating wages, social security benefits, occupational safety and labour-industrial relations has been done through enactment of The Code of Social Security, 2020. Among all others, the code specifically recognizes gig and platform workers along with highlighting the concept of fixed term employment.
The introduction of concept of ‘fixed term employment’ has settled the long-driven debate and insecurities of the labour class along with improving industrial relations. The same has been extended from apparel sector to all other sectors through amendment in Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules, 1946 in March 2018. The 2020 Code has widened the scope of the fixed term employment and related benefits which has proven to be a significant step towards strengthening equity and social security. Companies are now authorised to hire fixed term employees for any duration.
This legal intervention in the light of fixed term employment has ensured flexibility and transparency by enabling organizations to hire employees directly rather than through contractors. Apart for pro-rata gratuity, the employees are entitled to statutory benefits and conditions equivalent to regular employees. Therefore, the 2020 Code has provided clarity and recognition in the areas of unorganised sector and fixed term employment along with setting uniform standards in the arena of social security.
The said article reflects the same along with dealing with other such salient features of the 2020 Code. Moreover, the article envisages to analyse the 2020 Code in the light of its prospective application and attempts to make critical and systematic examination of the impact along with pros and cons with respect to implementation of 2020 Code. Furthermore, the article also highlights the key differences in the 2020 Code in relation to previous social security code in 2019 (2019 Code). The study is doctrinal, analytical, explanatory and comparative in nature.