In the past, ensuring compliance meant sifting through piles of paperwork in different languages and making multiple visits to government offices. However, with the advent of digital initiatives from both the public and private sectors, achieving labour law compliance has become significantly streamlined.
Labour law compliance involves a range of regulations, including laws, acts, notifications, circulars, and court decisions. These pertain to entities governed by various levels of authority such as the central government, state, municipal corporations, and even village panchayats. Enterprises are required to submit similar information multiple times, as they need licences, registrations, and regular compliance with different authorities in these governing bodies, each in a different format.
The need of the hour is simplification and consolidation. To make this a reality in a vast country like ours, technology solutions and the ability to swiftly scale their usage are essential.
Government initiatives in this field include Shram Suvidha, a unified portal that serves four major organisations under the Ministry of Labour: EPFO, ESIC, the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), and the Directorate General of Mines Safety. Examples like a Single Online Common Annual Return, Labour Inspection Scheme based on Risk Criteria, and the Online EPFO and ESIC portal illustrate the digitisation of labour compliance. These measures bring transparency, convenience for end users, and an effective grievance redressal mechanism.
The Samadhan portal manages industrial disputes. The imminent implementation of the New Wage Code, consolidating 29 labour laws into four codes, marks a significant stride. Further initiatives, like auto-renewal of licences and standardised returns, are on the horizon. These measures aim to streamline processes and cut down on multiple submissions and costs.
The industry has embraced digital transformation in labour law compliance. Tech firms now provide cost-effective integrated platforms for companies, streamlining information flow and retention. Automation ensures swift updates, easy data access, and instant availability of forms. Physical visits for submissions are now replaced by online processes. Authorities employ algorithms to swiftly detect non-compliance and issue notices. Knowledge sharing across regions is seamless, significantly reducing individual dependency.
India is known for its resilience when it comes to financial and tax compliances using advanced technology solutions and in recent times we have moved up significantly in the global index for countries in ease of doing business which is a result of large-scale simplification, consolidation and automation of labour law compliances with a high level of transparency and governance.