National Labor Conference ends issuing 15-pt declaration
KATHMANDU, July 11: The 3rd National Labor and Employment Conference concluded in Kathmandu on Wednesday, issuing a 15-point declaration that, among others, calls for introduction of social security schemes in both formal and informal sectors, and formulation of the final draft of the labor law within next four months.
The declaration endorsed by all stakeholders of the labor market - trade unions, employers´ organizations and the government - would be referred to while formulating or changing policies and laws related to labor.
The declaration announced at the conference, held after seven years, has mainly laid focus on rolling out social security schemes in both formal and informal sectors. Currently, the government has only been raising funds - one percent of basic salary - from workers of the formal sector to introduce social security packages, as the initial plan was to rope in employees of the formal sector in the program.
But since the draft of the Social Security Fund Act also has provision for participation of workers of the informal sector in the program, trade union leaders have asked the government to accommodate them from the beginning.
“In this regard, monetary contribution of the government and employers to the Social Security Fund should be fixed and social security schemes be designed immediately,” the declaration reads.
Although it is not known when these schemes will be introduced, the government´s plan is to begin the process once the existing Labor Act is amended and promulgated. The declaration has, therefore, laid emphasis on completing the process of formulating final draft of the Labor Act within the next four months.
“Within this period, drafts of Trade Union Act, Labor Commission Act and other laws related to labor would also be prepared,” the declaration says.
The declaration has also stressed the need to include a provision in the Trade Union Act that allows collective bargaining between employees and employers at the central level. It has also asked for establishment of a permanent minimum wage determination committee.
Among others, the declaration has also called on the government to hold employment summit to devise a mechanism on managing fresh workers entering the labor market, set minimum annual target on generation of additional employment opportunities and explore ways to enhance productivity of workers.
“This is essential at a time when the labor ministry has been given the responsibility of addressing problems related to employment in the country,” an official of the Ministry of Labor and Employment told Republica, referring to the recent government decision to shed the component of transport management from the ministry and add employment component to it.
Besides, the declaration has also laid emphasis on formulation of Unified Labor Market Information System by coordinating with various government bodies, ending child labor and gender discrimination at workplaces, upholding rights of people who migrate abroad for employment purposes and holding labor and employment conferences at intervals of every three years.