India: Simplified Employment Recordkeeping

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By Madhur Singh

India has reduced the number of labor records businesses must maintain from 56 to five, a move that will benefit an estimated 58.5 million business establishments in the manufacturing, services and agriculture sector and enhance compliance with labor law, the government announced Feb. 23. The changes will eliminate redundancies in required records relating to salaries, attendance, loans/recoveries and other employee information.

According to the government announcement, a review of the recordkeeping requirements of various returns, registers and forms found “several overlapping/redundant fields that could be rationalized.” All relevant ministries, departments and state governments were consulted on how to streamline the recordkeeping process.

The changes will affect recordkeeping rules under the following laws:

  •  the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996;
  •  the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970;
  •  the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976;
  •  the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979;
  •  the Mines Act, 1952;
  •  the Minimum Wages Act, 1948;
  •  the Payment of Wages Act, 1936;
  •  the Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976 and
  •  the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1955.

Various federal labor-related laws require businesses employing more than a specified number of workers to maintain “registers” with specified records. The existing 56 registers will be replaced by five in which a total of 144 data fields have to be filled compared to the current 933, the government announcement said. The Ministry of Labour & Employment is developing software that will enable maintenance and filing of these five registers digitally.

To contact the reporter on this story: Madhur Singh in Chandigarh at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at

The Ease of Compliance notification is available


For More Information

For more information on Indian HR law and regulation, see the India primer.

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