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INDIAN LABOUR LAW REFORMS AMID COVID-19: A PANACEA OR TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE FOR WORKERS

By Vaibhav Sharma & Varsha Verma

The World today is amidst the worst health crisis in over a century. The present onslaught of the COVID-19 has drastically affected the economies of all the nations with major impact been on the health of the mankind with more than 9 lakh people already perished as a result of Corona. A Complete Lockdown was imposed during the month of March, 2020 which lasted for more than 2 months. It culminated into massive laying-off the employees and migrants due to drastic loss in customer demand and spending power.
The GDP saw the largest contraction in the GDP with the total output shrinking by -23.9% in the April-June Quarter 2020 as compared to the preceding year. In order to push the demand in the economy the govt. pushes a slew of measures to increase the spending power. The Govts. in many states relaxed the provisions of the labour laws in order to do away with the formalities and make it easier for the business to run in these difficult times. However, these reforms have been severely criticized by the academicians and labour unions for putting the rights of the workers and personal safety at risk.
The paper would normatively evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 on the Indian Labour market. It would also deal with the measures of the Union and State Govts. to revive the economy. The relaxations granted in the enforcement of the labour law provisions by the various states would be discussed in details. The possible harmful impact on the personal safety and labour welfare would be covered along with the suggestions given by the International Agencies like ILO for the same. The paper would provide a holistic and comprehensive overview to the readers about the recent labour reforms and their future fall-outs for the Indian workers in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic along-with ameliorative suggestions for the future revival of the economy and labour justice for the Indian workers

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