As reported here and here, the I&B ministry along with a parliamentary panel has proposed the inclusion of workers in various television OTT platforms like Hotstar, Netflix and other TV channel serials and shows under the new labour code (social security bill) and the Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers (Regulation & Employment) Act, 1981.This includes people in the advertisement industry as well. Earlier, this act under its ambit merely included the people involved in the film industry, resulting in a differential treatment with respect to the Television industry. However, upon recognising the need for evolution and accommodation in the legal structure of compensation and provision of services, the panel has recommended for this change. The beneficiaries of this accommodative amendment could include around 50 crore workers, providing them with regularised regulated compensation and many other secure benefits like retirement, old age, health services, unemployment etc., as has been reported. Further, this tabled provision will include even unskilled labourers who work in this field, given the long working hours and risks involved.

Another important feature of this proposal is the act of doubling the payment i.e from Rs. 8,000 a month (1 lakh if paid in lump sum) to 16,000 a month (2 lakh if paid in lump sum). Further, a recommendation to check on the infrastructure of studios to ensure safety and security of the workers involved has been included. The recommendations have also called for a survey taken up by both the I&B and the Labour ministry to ascertain and identify the people working in such media industries, at the earliest.

Safety concerns for females working in the industry

The panel also recommended bringing in strict penal provisions to ensure safety and security of female workers in the industry. As reported, the parliamentary standing committee has termed the non-inclusion of any specific provision for the safety of women in these rules as a “glaring omission”. This has been done in light of the recent allegations pertaining to the media landscape involving certain personalities in this television and media domain (covered here). The committee consisting of representatives of the ministry of labour and I&B have stated that they are going to work in unison to ensure that safety and security is never compromised to these workers in this toil-full industry.

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