Labour Laws and Industrial relations
•Industrial relation = interactions between employers (businessmen/bosses), employees (workers) and the government (which makes the laws for them).
•Labour laws=made by Government, they deal with a worker's wellbeing in the office: for example working hours, hiring and firing, maternity leave, pension, union formation etc.
Constitution of India: workers' provisions
15 discrimination on religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth.
16 Equal opportunity in Government jobs.
19 The right to form union. But it does not carry with it the right to achieve every object. Thus the trade unions have no fundamental to right strike. (it is only a legal right under the industrial dispute Act)
21 right to 'live' is not merely confined to physical existence but it includes within its ambit the right to live with human dignity.
23 prohibits 'bonded / forced labour'
24 Child labour
33 Those working in armed forces etc. cannot enjoy all the fundamental rights.
39 Free legal aid, health of workers
41 Social security during unemployment.
42 humane conditions of work + Maternity Relief.
Laws for Female workers
Maternity Benefit Act: women in the labor force who have been employed for 160 days in a year to provide leave with pay and medical benefit.
Vishaka Case: SC gave the guidelines regarding protection of women @work places against sexual harassment.
•sexual harassment of working women amounts to violation of rights of gender equality
•judgment also laid down the definition of sexual harassment, the preventive steps, the complaint mechanism, and the need for creating awareness of the rights of women workers.
Employer must provide crèches in factories where more than 25 women are employed
Equal Remuneration Act
for the payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers for same or similar nature of work
Trade Union Act
•gives immunity to the trade unions against certain forms of civil and criminal action.
•Provides for registration, internal democracy, a role for outsiders.
•permission for raising a political fund subject to separate accounting requirements.
•right to register a trade union however does not mean that the employer must recognise the union – there is in fact no law which provides for recognition of trade unions and consequently no legal compulsion for employers, even in the organised sector, to enter into collective bargaining.
Minimum Wages Act
•This law governs the methods to fix minimum wages in scheduled industries (which may vary from state to state).
Strikes and lockouts
•Workers have the right to strike, even without giving notice to their boss, unless it involves a public utility service.
•Employers (bosses) have the right to lockout, subject to the same conditions as a strike.
•To solve the strike/lockout, both parties can engage with negotiation/talks.
•If that fails, they can go to government appointed conciliation officer whose intervention may produce a settlement, which is then registered in the labour department and becomes binding on all parties.
•If that fails then parties can go for arbitration (private judge) or labour court.
Industrial Disputes Act (IDA)
•A company with more than 100 workers must get Government's permission before mass layoffs or closing down business.
•Employer cannot change the existing service conditions / salary of a worker unilaterally without giving a notice of 21 days to the workers and the union.
•A permanent worker can be removed from service only for proven misconduct or for habitual absence – due to ill health, alcoholism and the like, or on attaining retirement age.
•In other words the doctrine of 'hire and fire' is not approved within the existing legal framework.
•An employee can challenge the dismissal order in the labour court.
•Industrial Disputes Act provides for setting up of Labour courts and Industrial tribunals.
Labour Courts deal with matters pertaining to :
1.discharge and dismissal of workmen
2.legality of strikes of lock outs etc.
Industrial Tribunals deal with collective disputes such as
2.hours of work,
4.closure of a company
5.+ all matters which come under the jurisdiction of Labour Courts.
A settlement arrived at in the course of labour court/ industrial tribunals is binding on all parties to an industrial dispute.
Workman's Compensation Act
•covers all cases of accident arising out of and in the course of employment' and the rate of compensation
•The injured person, or in case of death the dependent, can claim the compensation.
•This law applies to the unorganised sectors and to those in the organised sectors who are not covered by the Employees State Insurance Scheme
Employees State Insurance Act
•provides a scheme under which the employer and the employee must contribute a certain percentage of the monthly wage to the Insurance Corporation and it'll run hospitals for them.
There are two main types of retirement benefit generally available to workers.
Payment of Gratuity Act - Provident Fund Act
•a worker who has put in not less than five years of work is entitled to a lump sum payment equal to 15 days' wages for every completed year of service.
•Every month the employer is expected to contribute the required money into a separate fund to enable this payment on retirement or termination of employment.
•scheme both the employee and the employer make an equal contribution into a national fund. The current rate of contribution is 12 percent of the wage including a small percentage towards family pension.
•This contribution also attracts an interest, currently 9.5 percent per annum, and the accumulated amount is paid on retirement to the employee along with the interest that has accrued.
•The employee is allowed to draw many types of loan from the fund such as for house construction, marriage of children, and education etc. As a result very little is available at the time of retirement.
•regulates the emigration of Indian workers for jobs abroad.
•no agency can undertake the recruitment of Indian workers with foreign employers without possessing a registration certificate issued by the Protector General of Emigrants.
•those who have not been able to organise themselves in pursuit of common objectives on account of constraints like casual nature of employment, ignorance and illiteracy.
•They donot enjoy sick leaves, maternity benefit, provident fund etc. facilities enjoyed by organized labourers.
•But Government is making various schemes to help them out for example Aam Admi Bima Yojana, New Pension Scheme (N.P.S) etc.
•91% of the working population is in the unorganised sector
Example of unorganized labourers:
1.small and marginal farmers
2.landless agricultural labourers
4.building construction workers
10.workers in brick kilns and stone quarries
14.newspaper,vegetable and fruit vendors
International Labour Organisation (ILO)
•Established in 1919
•HQ- Geneva, Switzerland
•India is the founding member of ILO
•International Labour Organization has a tripartite governing structure, (usually with a ratio of 2:1:1) —
Ministry of Labour
Important OFFICES/institutes with Labour Ministry
1.Chief Labour Commissioner
2.Directorate General, Mines Safety
4.Board of Arbitration
5.Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)
6.Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)
7.V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, NOIDA [He was the 4th President of India and wrote books on labour related matters.]
[^This list not exhaustive, I'm only listing the important ones for MCQ]
Work done by offices with labour ministry
[again list not exhaustive, just providing the facts important for MCQ]
Chief Labour Commissioner: •Prevention, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes in the Central sphere.
•Enforcement of awards and settlements.
•Implementation of labour laws in industries
•Verification of membership of Unions affiliated to the Central Organisations of Workers
•Fixation and revision of minimum wages by notifications under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948
Labour Bureau: •Compilation and publication of the Consumer Price Index Numbers for industrial and agricultural workers
Welfare Commissioners: •Providing welfare facilities to the workers employed in the mica, limestone, dolomite, iron ore, manganese and chrome ore mines and in the beedi and cinema industries.
Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC): •Implementation of Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948, which provides for medical care and treatment to insured persons and their families.
•Providing assistance in terms of benefits during sickness and maternity, compensation for employment injury, pensions for dependants on the death of workers due to employment injury, etc. to employees covered under the ESIC Act.
Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO): •Administration of Employees' Provident Funds
•Administration of Employees' Pension Scheme
Board of Arbitration: Compulsory arbitration of disputes between the Government employees and the Government on pay and allowances, weekly hours of work and leave.
MCQs for UPSC Exam
Which of the following statements are correct?
1.Supreme court laid down the guidelines against Ragging in Vishaka Case.
2.Humane conditions of work and Maternity Relief are fundamental rights enshrined in Indian Constitution.
3.Workers have the legal right to strike, even without giving notice to their boss in any industry.
4.Consumer Price Index Numbers for industrial and agricultural workers are published by NSSO
5.Only Sovereign nations can become members of Governing council of ILO.
6.In Gratuity fund, both Employer and Employee have to contribute.
7.In Provident Fund Act, only Employer (boss) has to contribute.
8.In Employees State Insurance, only Employer has to contribute.
9.The office of Directorate General of Mines Safety falls under the Administrative jurisdiction of Coal Ministry.
10.EPFO and ESIC are autonomous institutions under Finance Ministry.Labor Laws in India