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India – 10 steps to improve labour and staffing market

13 March 2013

The vice-president of the Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) last week spoke about regulating the local labour market at a conference organised by the ISF and the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Ciett).

Rituparna Chakraborty said that the staffing industry “can play a huge role in creating jobs for the youth of the country.” She also outlined ten points to improve labour market regulations in India.

“As a representative of the ISF board and one of India’s leading staffing companies I am often asked what are those things that you would like to change in regulations or policies which can actually improve the contractual labour environment in India,” she said.

“The meaningful insights shared by our International speakers from CIETT and our experience in India helps me narrow it down to 10 things:

  1. We need to change the Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act to Contract Labour Regulation Act or Contract Employment Regulation Act and amend it to make it flexible, secure, implementable and free from retail corruptions
  2. Explicit recognition of flexi staffing as an Industry and the need for flexi staffing to make our economy competitive and productive
  3. The ACT needs to move away from capturing a bipartite relationship to explicit acknowledge tripartite relationship between the worker, the user company and the flexi staffing provider
  4. Clear delineation of responsibilities of the flexi staffing company and the user company.
  5. Single national license with a clearly defined qualification criteria, renewable once in three years for the flexi staffing providers.
  6. Single national registration with defined qualification criteria, renewable once in three years for user companies.
  7. A minimum capital requirement should be explicitly mandated to apply for license as a flexi staffing company.
  8. Definitions need to be aligned to other labour enactments like Industrial Dispute Act, ESI, Bonus Act, PF Act et al. To begin with the definition of a worker.
  9. Build a platform for social dialoguing which addresses the trust deficit which exists between Trade Unions, Employers, Staffing Companies and the Government
  10. States need to come out to the forefront to provide an even playing yet secure environment for contract labour.

This comes after Ciett last week called on the Indian government to modernise its labour market and regulate the local staffing industry. 

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