Manpower legislation is a very important factor that shapes
the overall labour environment of a country. Protection of the interests
of labour is the responsibility of the State in the democratic countries.
Under the Constitution of India, Labour is a subject in the Concurrent
List where both the Central and the State Governments are competent to
enact legislations subject to certain matters being reserved for the Centre.
Union List includes:- (i) Regulation of labour and safety in mines and
oil fields; (ii) Industrial disputes concerning Union employees; and (iii)
Union agencies and institutions for "vocational. training.". While, the
concurrent List includes:- (i) Trade Unions; industrial and labour disputes;
(ii) Social security and social insurance; employment and unemployment;
and (iii) Welfare of labour including conditions of work, provident funds,
employers' liability, workmen's compensation, invalidity and old age pensions
and maternity benefit.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has the responsibility of protecting
and safeguarding the interests of workers in general and those of the
poor, deprived and disadvantaged sections of the society, in particular.
It also has the responsibility of creating a healthy work environment
for higher production and productivity and to develop and coordinate vocational
skill training and employment services. These objectives are sought to
be achieved through enactment and implementation of various labour laws,
which regulate the terms and conditions of service and employment of workers.
Broadly, the Ministry has been allocated the work of:-
- Labour policy (including wage policy) and legislation.
- Safety, health and welfare of labour.
- Social security of labour.
- Policy relating to special target group such as women,
- Industrial relations and enforcement of labour laws in
the Central sphere.
- Adjudication of industrial disputes through Central Government
Industrial Tribunals- cum-Labour Courts and National Industrial Tribunals.
- Workers' Education.
- Labour and Employment Statistics.
- Employment Services and Vocational training.
- Administration of Central Labour & Employment Services.
- International Cooperation in Labour & Employment
The major legislations that have been enacted for regulating
manpower are:- the Factories Act,1948 to regulate the working conditions
in factories; to ensure provision of the basic minimum requirements for
safety, health and welfare of the factories workers as well as to regulate
the working hours, leave, holidays, employment of children, women, etc;
the Minimum Wages Act,1948 to safeguard the interests of workers, mostly
in the unorganised sector by providing for the fixation of minimum wages
in certain specified employments. It binds the employers to pay their
workers the minimum wages fixed under the Act from time to time; the Employees'
Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, with the main objective
of making some provisions for the future of industrial workers after their
retirement and for their dependents in case of death, etc.