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    Nepal Labour Law

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    Nepal Labour Law

    Nepal Labour Law
    Nepal Labour Law

    Labour law is the branch of law that regulates the rights and obligations of workers and employers in the labour market. Labour law aims to protect the interests and welfare of workers, promote good labour relations, prevent labour exploitation and enhance productivity and economic development.

    Nepal has various laws and policies that deal with different aspects of labour, such as social security, minimum wage, occupational safety and health, trade unions, collective bargaining, labour disputes, foreign employment and child labour. Among many, Labour Act 2017 is the principal law regulating the labour market in Nepal and the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security is the concerned ministry in Nepal.

    Main Features of the Labour Act 2017
    The Labour Act 2017 is a comprehensive and updated law that repeals and replaces the previous Labour Act 1992. The Labour Act 2017 aims to harmonize the national labour laws with the international standards and best practices, as well as to address the emerging issues and challenges in the labour sector. The Labour Act 2017 covers various aspects of labour relations, such as employment contracts, working conditions, remuneration, leave, termination, discipline, grievance handling, social security, labour inspection, labour administration and labour courts. Some of the main features of the Labour Act 2017 are as follows:

    •  Employment contract: The Labour Act 2017 defines an employment contract as an agreement between an employer and a worker to perform work for remuneration. An employment contract can be written or oral, fixed-term or indefinite-term, full-time or part-time. An employment contract must include certain terms and conditions, such as the name and address of the parties, the nature and place of work, the duration and probation period of the contract, the remuneration and benefits, the working hours and leave entitlements, and the termination procedure. An employment contract can be terminated by mutual consent, expiry of term, retirement, resignation or dismissal.

    •  Working conditions: The Labour Act 2017 sets out the minimum standards for working conditions that must be followed by employers and workers. These include:

    •  Working hours: The normal working hours are eight hours per day and 48 hours per week. Overtime work is allowed up to four hours per day and 24 hours per week with extra remuneration. Workers are entitled to one day off per week and one hour rest per day.

    •  Remuneration: The minimum wage for workers is determined by the government in consultation with employers' and workers' organizations. The remuneration must be paid at least once a month in cash or through a bank account. The remuneration must not be deducted or withheld except for lawful reasons.

    •  Leave: Workers are entitled to various types of leave with or without pay, such as annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, festival leave, study leave and casual leave. The entitlements and conditions for each type of leave are specified in the Labour Act 2017 or in the employment contract.

    •  Occupational safety and health:Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for workers. Employers must comply with the standards and rules prescribed by the government or by an authorized body. Employers must also provide workers with necessary information, training, equipment and facilities to prevent accidents and diseases. Workers must also follow the safety and health measures and report any hazards or incidents to their employers.

    •  Social security: The Labour Act 2017 provides for a comprehensive social security system for workers that covers various contingencies, such as old age, disability, death, sickness, maternity, unemployment and accident. The social security system is funded by contributions from employers, workers and the government. The social security system is administered by a Social Security Fund established under a separate law.

    •  Labour inspection:The Labour Act 2017 establishes a labour inspection system to monitor and enforce compliance with the labour laws and regulations. The labour inspection system is composed of labour inspectors who are appointed by the government or by an authorized body. The labour inspectors have various powers and duties, such as conducting inspections, investigations and inquiries; issuing orders, directions and notices; imposing fines or penalties; filing cases; providing advice or guidance; collecting data; preparing reports; and coordinating with other authorities.

    •  Labour administration: The Labour Act 2017 creates a labour administration system to facilitate and regulate the labour relations in Nepal. The labour administration system consists of various bodies and mechanisms at different levels, such as:

    •  Ministry of Labour:The Ministry of Labour is responsible for formulating policies, plans and programs on labour matters; implementing laws and regulations on labor; coordinating with other ministries or agencies on labour issues; representing Nepal in international forums on labour; establishing bilateral or multilateral agreements on labour; conducting research or studies on labour; and providing information or services on labour. 

    •  Labour Office: The Labour Office is the local office of the Ministry of Labour that performs various functions, such as registering employers and workers; issuing permits or licenses for foreign employment; resolving labour disputes; conducting labour inspections; collecting labour statistics;
    providing labour education or training; and facilitating social dialogue or tripartite consultation among employers, workers and the government.

    •  Central Labour Advisory Council: The Central Labour Advisory Council is a tripartite body that advises the government on labour policies, laws and regulations; reviews and evaluates the implementation of labour policies, laws and regulations; and promotes social dialogue or tripartite
    consultation on labour matters. •  Labour Court: The Labour Court is a specialized court that adjudicates cases related to labour disputes, violations of labour laws or regulations, or enforcement of arbitral awards. The Labour Court consists of a chairperson who is a judge and two members who are experts on labour. The decision of the Labour Court can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

    Conclusion
    The Labour Act 2017 is a landmark law that aims to improve the labour situation in Nepal by protecting the rights and interests of workers and employers, promoting good labour relations, preventing labour exploitation and enhancing productivity and economic development. The Labour Act 2017 also aligns the national labour laws with the international standards and best practices, as well as addresses the emerging issues and challenges in the labour sector. However, the effectiveness and impact of the Labour Act 2017 will depend largely on its implementation and enforcement by the government, the employers, the workers and the society at large. Therefore, it is essential to raise awareness and capacity among all stakeholders and to foster a culture of compliance and cooperation in the labour market.

    Bonus :

    How do I file a complaint against my employer under Labour Act 2017?

    To file a complaint against your employer under the Labour Act 2017, you can follow these steps:

    •  Identify the nature and grounds of your complaint, such as violation of your employment contract, working conditions, remuneration, leave, social security, termination, discipline or grievance handling.

    •  Try to resolve your complaint through dialogue or negotiation with your employer or through the internal grievance mechanism of your workplace, if any.

    •  If your complaint is not resolved within 30 days, you can file a written complaint to the Labour Office of your district or province. You must include your name, address, contact details, name and address of your employer, details of your complaint and evidence or documents to support your complaint. You must also pay a fee of NPR 100 for filing the complaint.

    •  The Labour Office will register your complaint and send a notice to your employer to submit a written reply within 15 days. The Labour Office will also try to mediate or conciliate between you and your employer to settle the dispute amicably.

    •  If the mediation or conciliation fails or is not possible, the Labour Office will refer your complaint to the Labour Court within 15 days. The Labour Court will hear and decide your case within 90 days. You can appeal the decision of the Labour Court to the Supreme Court within 35 days.

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