There are several legislations which regulate the conditions
of employment, work environment and other welfare requirements of certain
specific industries. These enactments deal with factories and workshops;
mines and minerals; plantations; shops and establishments as well as transportation.
Some of the major legislations are:-
Factories Act,1948 is the umbrella legislation enacted to regulate
the working conditions in factories. According to the Act, a 'factory'
means "any premises including the precincts thereof:- (i) whereon ten
or more workers are working, or were working on any day of the preceding
twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being
carried on with the aid of power, or is ordinarily so carried on; or
(ii) whereon twenty or more workers are working, or were working on
any day of the preceding twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing
process is being carried on without the aid of power, or is ordinarily
so carried on; but this does not include a mine subject to the operation
of the Mines
Act, 1952 , or a mobile unit belonging to the armed forces of the
union, a railway running shed or a hotel, restaurant or eating place."
The Act is administered by the Ministry
of Labour and Employment through its Directorate
General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI)
and by the State Governments through their factory inspectorates. DGFASLI
serves as a technical arm to assist the Ministry in formulating national
policies on occupational safety and health in factories and docks.
- The Plantation
Labour Act, 1951 provides for the welfare of plantation labour
and regulates the conditions of work in plantations. According to the
Act, the term 'plantation' means "any plantation to which this Act,
whether wholly or in part, applies and includes offices, hospitals,
dispensaries, schools, and any other premises used for any purpose connected
with such plantation, but does not include any factory on the premises
to which the provisions of the Factories
The Act is administered by the Ministry
of Labour through its Industrial
Relations Division . The Division is concerned with improving the
institutional framework for dispute settlement and amending labour laws
relating to industrial relations. It works in close co-ordination with
Industrial Relations Machinery (CIRM) in an effort to ensure that
the country gets a stable, dignified and efficient workforce, free from
exploitation and capable of generating higher levels of output.
- The Mines
Act, 1952 contains provisions for measures relating to the health,
safety and welfare of workers in the coal, metalliferous and oil mines.
According to the Act,the term 'mine' means "any excavation where any
operation for the purpose of searching for or obtaining minerals has
been or is being carried on and includes all borings, bore holes, oil
wells and accessory crude conditioning plants, shafts, opencast workings,
conveyors or aerial ropeways, planes, machinery works, railways, tramways,
slidings, workshops, power stations, etc. or any premises connected
with mining operations and near or in the mining area".
The Act is administered by the Ministry
of Labour and Employment through the Directorate
General of Mines Safety (DGMS). DGMS is the Indian Government regulatory
agency for safety in mines and oil-fields. It conducts inspections and
inquiries, issues competency tests for the purpose of appointment to
various posts in the mines, organises seminars/conferences on various
aspects of safety of workers.
- The Contract
Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970 was enacted to regulate
employment of contract labour so as to place it at par with labour employed
directly, with regard to the working conditions and certain other benefits.
Contract labour refers to "the workers engaged by a contractor
for the user enterprises". These workers are generally engaged
in agricultural operations, plantation, construction industry, ports
& docks, oil fields, factories, railways, shipping, airlines, road
The Act is implemented both by the Centre and the State
Governments. The Central Government has jurisdiction over establishments
like railways, banks, mines etc. and the State Governments have jurisdiction
over units located in that state. In the Central sphere, the Central
Industrial Relations Machinery (CIRM) headed by Chief Labour Commissioner
(Central) and his officers have been entrusted with the responsibility
of enforcing the provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder.
Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment
& Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 was enacted to regulate
the employment and conditions of service of building and other construction
workers and to provide for their safety, health and welfare measures.
The Act is applicable to every establishment which employs ten or more
workers in any building or other construction work and to the projects
costing more than Rs. 10 lakh. The Act contains provision for immediate
assistance to the workers in case of accidents; old age pension; loans
for construction of house; premia for group insurance; financial assistance
for education, medical expenses and maternity benefits, etc.
- The Motor
Transport Workers Act, 1961 was enacted to provide for the welfare
of motor transport workers and to regulate the conditions of their work.
It applies to every motor transport undertaking employing five or more
motor transport workers. The State Government may, after giving notification
in the Official Gazette, apply all or any of the provisions of this
Act to any motor
transport undertaking employing less than five motor transport workers.
According to the Act, 'motor transport undertaking' means "an undertaking
engaged in carrying passengers or goods or both by road for hire or
reward and includes a private carrier".
Every employer of a motor transport undertaking to which
this Act applies shall have the undertaking registered under this Act.
No adult motor transport worker shall be required or allowed to work
for more than eight hours in any day and forty-eight hours in any week.
Also, no adolescent shall be employed or required to work as a motor
transport worker in any motor transport undertaking for more than six
hours a day including rest interval of half-an-hour; and between the
hours of 10 P.M. and 6 A.M.
- The Sales
Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976 was enacted
to regulate certain conditions of service of sales promotion employees
in certain establishments. According to the Act, the term 'sales promotion
employees' means, "any person by whatever name called (including
an apprentice) employed or engaged in any establishment for hire or
reward to do include any such person:- (i) who, being employed or engaged
in a supervisory capacity, draws wages exceeding sixteen hundred rupees
per mensem; or (ii) who is employed or engaged mainly in a managerial
or administrative capacity".
The Act shall apply to every establishment engaged in
the pharmaceutical industry. The Central Government may, by notification
in the Official Gazette, apply the provisions of this Act, to any other
establishment engaged in any notified industry. Every employer in relation
to an establishment shall keep and maintain such registers and other
documents and in such manner as may be prescribed.
- The Shops and Establishments Act,1953 was enacted
to provide statutory obligation and rights to employees and employers
in the unorganised sector of employment, i.e. shops and establishments.
It is applicable to all persons employed in an establishment with or
without wages, except the members of the employer's family. It is a
State legislation and each State has framed its own rules for the Act.
The State Government can exempt, either permanently or for a specified
period, any establishments from all or any provisions of this Act. The
Act provides for compulsory registration of shop/ establishment within
thirty days of commencement of work and all communications of closure
of an establishment within 15 days from its closing. It also lays down
the hours of work per day and week as well as the guidelines for spread-over,
rest interval, opening and closing hours, closed days, national and
religious holidays, overtime work, etc.
- The Inter-State
Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service)
Act, 1979 was enacted to protect the rights and safeguard the interest
of migrant workers. The Act intends to regulate the employment of inter-state
migrant workmen and to provide their conditions of service. It applies
to every establishment and the contractor, who employ five or more inter-state
migrant workmen. The Act has provision for issue of Pass-Book to every
inter-state migrant workman with full details, payment of displacement
allowance, payment of journey allowance including payment of wage during
the period of journey, suitable residential accommodation, medical facilities
and protective clothing, payment of wages, equal pay for equal work
irrespective of sex etc.
The responsibility for enforcement of the Act in establishments
where the Central Government is the appropriate Government lies with
the office of the Chief
Labour Commissioner (Central) and for the establishments located
under the States sphere lies with the respective State Governments.
- Also, to extend a measure of social assistance to workers
in the unorganised sector, the concept of 'Labour Welfare Fund' was
evolved and five welfare funds were set up under the Ministry
of Labour and Employment. These funds are aimed to provide housing,
medical care, educational and recreational facilities to workers employed
in beedi industry, certain non-coal mines and cine workers. Such funds
are financed out of the proceeds of cess levied under respective Cess/Fund
Acts. The various legislation so enacted include:-
The above Acts provide that the fund may be applied by
the Central Government to meet the expenditure incurred in connection
with measures and facilities which are necessary to provide the welfare
of the respective workers.