the first time, Railways under a new general Conditions of Contract (GCC) will
have a database of workers engaged by contractors in non-operational areas such
as housekeeping, cleaning, consultancy, training and other such services, thus
keeping an eye out for any violation of labour rights.
The new policy has introduced, for the first
time, a digital contract labour management system which will be a database of
all contractual workers engaged in providing services to the railways. “This
system shall be put in place by the contractor or by Indian Railways, as decided by the railways as per the special conditions of
contract. Use of this system will be mandatory in labour intensive service
contracts that is in housekeeping…,” the GCC said.
computerised system will have a database of all workers with their personal
details, police verification, medical insurance, provident fund registration,
identification certificate issued by the government of India, attendance data,
shift log and the details of safety and labour law training and salary details.
It will also generate identity cards for them complete with work site details,
blood group, photograph and a colour-based band, based on category of labour.
The workers biometrics will also be uploaded on the system.
This system has been thought of as the consequence of
complaints received by the Railway Minister who during a briefing on the budget
day, said, “There have been complaints… I am bringing a system by which I want
all contractors to make the data of their employees public. This way we will
know if they are being paid minimum wages, the employees provident fund (EPF)”.
According to the contract, to ensure compliance of
labour laws in a service contract, a contractor bidding for a project will be
disqualified if they have been levied with penalty for violation of labour laws
three times in the last two years from the date of opening of tender.
Railways, the GCC stated may also undertake measures, as decided by competent
authority to ensure welfare of contract workers – through a helpline for
complaints from about regarding payment of wages, work site facilities, sexual
harassment, or through a provision for recording anonymous complaints from
workers, citizens and others regarding violation of labour laws by contractor.
policy has also stated that all contractors were legally obligated to follow
the usual labour laws like payment of minimum wages, provident fund and others,
but also the Maternity Benefit Act as well as the Sexual Harassment at
Workplace Act just like the organised sector.
ministry said that the new policy was required as the present contract for
works, primarily for those working in the operational areas “failed to bridge
the fundamental differences in the nature of works and services delivery”.
policy follows a recent directive from the Railway Board issued on January 24
which said that any railway contractor found violating labour laws would face
charges under the law, but may find himself being blacklisted by the national