The government has simplified the maintenance of labour registers for about 5.85 crore establishments in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors. The exercise has brought down the number of the registers to be maintained from 56 to just five.

These registers carry details of employees, their salaries, loans and recoveries, and attendance. A review exercise by the Labour and Employment Ministry has reduced the number of registers to be maintained by the establishments from 56 to only five by doing away with overlapping and redundant fields. This will help these
establishments to save cost and efforts and ensure better compliance of labour laws.

Various Central Labour Acts require maintenance of registers depending upon the threshold of the number of employees with the establishments in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors. As per the Sixth Economic Census of Central Statistical Office conducted during 2013-2014, India has about 5.85 crore establishments in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors combined.

Out of this, 4.54 crore establishments are in non-agricultural sector. While reviewing the requirement of filing various returns and registers and forms provided under the nine Central Acts, there were several overlapping and redundant fields that could be rationalised.

An intention notification was issued on 4 November, 2016, for reducing the number of registers and data fields and the same was widely circulated to concerned Ministries  and Departments, and other stakeholders. After this, all previous registers envisaged under the various Acts and Rules have been omitted and replaced with only five common Registers. Such an exercise has reduced number of data fields in the five registers to only 144 from the earlier 933 fields in 56

The Ministry of Labour & Employment has also simultaneously undertaken to develop a  software for these five common Registers. After development of the software, the same will be put on the Shram Suvidha Portal of the Ministry for free download with an aim to facilitate maintenance of those registers in a digitised form.