Shift Of Labour To Non-Farm Jobs: Why It’s High Time To Reform India’s Job-Creation Laws

India has long aspired to shift from agriculture to non-farm employment to alleviate exploitation in the agricultural sector. As time progresses, the nation edges closer to this goal, with non-farm jobs promoting consumption, innovation, and tackling systemic injustices and inefficiencies in job laws. Government spending alone cannot uplift a nation; rather, it is the combination of policy reforms and infrastructure development that lays the foundation for prosperity. India’s recent strides in welfare state efficiency and infrastructure enhancement set the stage for improved productivity and economic growth. However, addressing the regulatory burdens that stifle enterprise growth remains paramount.

The existing labyrinth of laws governing employment is burdensome, with numerous compliance requirements choking both large and small-scale employers. The move to consolidate labour laws into four codes was a step in the right direction, but its implementation has been delayed. This delay presents an opportunity to further streamline regulations into a single, more coherent code.

Moreover, social security programs suffer from inefficiencies and low participation rates, hindering their effectiveness in supporting workers. Reforms such as benchmarking costs, introducing voluntary contributions, and enhancing portability are essential to revitalise these programs and promote financial security among workers.

While challenges abound in reforming labour laws, it is imperative to recognize the symbiotic relationship between employers and employees. Creating an environment conducive to job creation requires addressing the concerns of both parties while fostering a transition towards non-farm employment.

Ultimately, the ongoing farmers’ agitation underscores the urgent need for modernization and increased financial viability in agriculture. As change is met with resistance, it is crucial to confront these challenges head-on to pave the way for a more prosperous future for all Indians.

Manish Sabharwal, Vice Chairman, and Kartik Narayan, CEO – Staffing at TeamLease Services Limited, provides a comprehensive opinion around how India should aim to reduce agriculture’s ‘self-exploitation’ through non-farm jobs. This requires addressing problems with job laws, promoting direct benefit transfer, improving infrastructure and human capital, and reforming social security and labour codes.

The opinion piece titled  Shift of labour to non-farm jobs: Why it’s high time to reform India’s job-creation laws” was first published in ET.


Manish Sabharwal

Vice Chairman
TeamLease Services Limited

Kartik Narayan

CEO - Staffing
TeamLease Services Limited

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