CCAS Public Lecture (co-hosted with Institute for Language and Culture)
"Labour Legislations and Quality of Worklife:
A Neglected HRM Function in Nepal"
on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 4:45pm-6:05pm
at Rinkokan 203, Doshisha University
Prof. Dev Raj Adhikari, Tribhuvan University
Prof. Shigeyuki Abe, Doshisha University
Prof. Tsuyako Nakamura, Doshisha University
Professor Adhikari’s lecture, entitled “Labour Legislations and Quality of Worklife: A Neglected HRM Function in Nepal” is to examine the role of the State to enhance Quality of Work/Life (QWL). In Nepal, because of the lack of development of private sector’s institutions, the State has to play a key role to protect rights and interests of the workers working in different industries. The State needs to play a dual role in implementing the industrial relations (IR) system, i.e. by playing regulatory role to ensure the IR activities are in operation smoothly, and as the biggest ‘employer’ in the economy, which employs a large number of employees in the state enterprises.
The QWL in practice, however, is very poor. It is prominent that QWL enforcement rate is low, not meeting nor complying with the standard of Labour Act. Especially the compliance of the Child Labour Act is a problem, with the children’s work environment and conditions seriously deteriorated. It is difficult to establish a perfect link between the current state of QWL and the performance of manufacturing sector. Despite the fact that the national policies are geared towards the liberalization and deregulation, it is difficult for the State to give up all the responsibility.
Professor Adhikari, while illustrating the QWL enforcement mechanism and trade union act, concludes that considering the current situations of QWL, Nepal has not been very successful at the enterprise level for the enforcement of the Act even with the enactment of different legislations. He proposed the following two aspects for the future challenge, stressing that the government should ensure the rights and interests of the working people under these circumstances: (1) to incorporate more provisions in the prevailing acts in order to enhance employee relations, develop skills and improve efficiency and productivity; (2) to enforce the current labour legislations with some strict measures for the benefit of both labour and management.
On the day of the lecture, approximately fifty people, mainly students, attended and listened to the above-mentioned interesting lecture. Questions and answers followed with sufficiently allocated time, and such questions as the disparity problems between the rich and the poor, child labour situations, women’s issues, and Nepal’s heading directions were asked, to which Professor Adhikari’s perspectives were indicated. This open lecture has provided a useful arena for exchanging ideas among Professor Adhikari and the audience.