Exemption from Labour Laws in Uttar Pradesh

After the Madhya Pradesh Government proposed the labour law reforms in order to boost investment in the state, Uttar Pradesh Government has also approved an Ordinance for the next three years to exempt businesses from the scope of almost all the labour laws for the purpose of functionalizing the Industrial and Economic activity in the state.

The Council of Ministers has approved the draft of “The temporary exemption from certain labour laws in Uttar Pradesh Ordinance 2020” on May 06, 2020. This decision was taken in the cabinet meeting chaired by the Hon’ble Chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Adityanath. This ordinance provides for exemption of 3 years from all the labour laws except few applicable in Uttar Pradesh to all factories and manufacturing establishments.

The Provisions of the act Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, Workmen Compensation Act, 1923, Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996 will remain in force. The provisions of the labour Act relating to the employment of children and women will also remain in force. The provision of payment of salary under the prescribed time limit under the section 5 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 will also be applicable. This information was provided by Information and Public Relations Department of UP in the CM’s press release.

As the press release by Information and Public Relations Department of UP  says all the other laws will be exempted except few mentioned above which means all the laws related to settling industrial disputes, occupational safety, health and working conditions of workers, labour unions, regulation for working conditions, contract workers will be suspended for next 3 years in Uttar Pradesh State. This Ordinance has been placed before the Hon’ble Governor of Uttar Pradesh Anandiben Patel for her approval.

On one hand where the state Governments are struggling to deal with the pandemic & trying to bring majors for the purpose of solving the problem of workers, on the other hand the above move has been strongly opposed by the trade unions and workers. Though the Industry has welcomed such Ordinance but experts in legal field have express their concern towards such ordinance.

The interesting question remains, where the hon’ble apex court has given wider meaning to fundamental rights and has increase the scope of Article 21 in order to even include right to livelihood through several landmark decisions including the historic judgment of Olga tellis & Ors vs Bombay Municipal Corporation & Ors. [ 1885 SCC (3) 545]. Whether the ordinance mentioned above will stand the vires of the Constitution. Also, where our Constitutional ethos prescribe a socialist democratic state, whether this Ordinance upholds them or defeats them will have to be seen from the eyes of Constitution.

In the struggle against the global pandemic the real challenge for the State Government will be to balance between the existing laws, right of citizens, their health & safety and the funds of State. Therefore, how our Constitutional Courts will look towards the Ordinances like the one proposed by the Uttar Pradesh Government will be very important in our near future.                                                                                                 


Adv. Aditi Rajput | Abhay Nevagi & Associates

Source: Press release by Information and Public Relations Department of UP on May 6, 2020.