What are the important Labour Laws in India?

Laws, scope, applicability of the laws
Answer:   Labour law in India is important. You can ask: Which is important Act in Labour Laws in India?
Under the Constitution of India, Labour is a subject in the Concurrent List where both the Central & State Governments are competent to enact legislation subject to certain matters being reserved for the Centre.

The salient features of some of the important Labour Acts, which are applicable for carrying out business in India are:

Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
Benefits available to the workers include the provident fund, employees deposit linked insurance and the pension to the workers and their families.
Applicable to 180 industries/classes of establishments employing 20 or more workers .
Wage ceiling for coverage is Rs. 6,500 per month.
24.53 million workers are covered under the Act .
These are administered by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation under the overall supervision and direction of the Central Board of Trustees and Committees.
Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC) is the Chief Executive Officer of the Organisation.

Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948
Provides for health care and cash benefits in cases of sickness, maternity and employment injury.
Health and medical care facilities are provided to the workers through a network of 140 hospitals, 43 annexes and 1443 dispensaries located throughout the country.
Jointly administered by the Central Government and the State Governments .
while the Central Govt formulates the Scheme, recovers the contribution from employers of covered establishments with the help of its Recovery Officers, builds the infrastructure (hospitals, dispensaries etc.), provides 7/8th of the total expenses, the State Government contributes 1/8th, posts Medical Officers, specialists and paramedical staff, procures and instals equipments, dispenses medicines and has the overall responsibility for the management of the hospitals/dispensaries.
Director General (DG), ESIC is the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation and functions under the overall Supervision and control of the Board and Committees/Councils formed thereunder.

Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923
Provides for compensation to workmen or their survivors in cases of industrial accidents and occupational diseases, resulting in disablement or death.
Compensation in case of death ranges from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 4.56 lakh and in the case of permanent total disablement from Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 5.48 lakh.

Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
Regulates employment of women before and after child birth and provides for 12 weeks maternity leave, medical bonus and certain other benefits.
The Act is not applicable to the employees covered under the ESI Act, 1948.

Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972
Provides for payment of gratuity @ 15 days' wages for every completed year of service or part thereof, in excess of seven months
Maximum amount of gratuity payable under the Act was raised from Rs. 1.00 lakh to Rs. 3.50 lakh with effect from 24.9.97
No wage ceiling for coverage under the Act

Factories Act, 1948
Regulates health, safety, welfare and other working conditions of workers in factories.
Enforced by the State Governments through their factory inspectorates. The Directorate General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI) functions as a technical arm of the Ministry for co-ordinating matters concerning safety, health and welfare of workers in the factories with the State Governments.
DGFASLI conducts training, studies and surveys on various aspects relating to safety and health of workers through the Central Labour Institute in Mumbai and three other Regional Labour Institutes located at Calcutta, Chennai and Kanpur and One more Regional Labour Institute is being set up at Faridabad.

Mines Act, 1952
Contains provisions for measures for the health, safety and welfare of workers in the coal, metalliferous and oil mines.
Directorate General of Mines Safety 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 activities of DGMS is to contain the number of accidents in mines.
Courts of Inquiry are set up by the Central Government to investigate into the accidents, which result in the death of 10 or above miners.
From 1901 till date, 46 Courts of Inquiry (42 pertaining to accidents in coal mines and 4 pertaining to accidents in non-coal mines) have been set up and have submitted their reports.

Dock Workers (Safety, Health & Welfare) Act, 1986
Contains provisions for the health, safety and welfare of workers working in ports/docks
Administered by Director General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes, Directorate General FASLI as the Chief Inspector there are inspectorates of dock safety at 10 major ports in India viz. Calcutta, Mumbai, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip, Kandla, Mormugao, Tuticorin, Cochin and New Mangalore
Inspectorate at Jawaharlal Nehru Port is being made operational
Overall emphasis in the activities of the inspectorates is to contain the accident rates and the number of accidents at the ports

The Payment of Wages Act, 1936
The Payment of Wages Act was enacted during the British Rule in 1936 on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Labour. The Act regulates the payment of wages to workers and ensures that they are disbursed by the employers within the stipulated time frame and without any unauthorized deductions.
The Act lays down that the wage period exceeding one month should not be fixed and payment of wages must be made before the entry of specific day after the last day of the wage period. The specific day is the seventh day of a month where the number of workers is less than 1000 and tenth day in case the number of workers is one thousand or more. All wages must be paid in current legal tender. The wages can also be paid by cheque or credited to the bank account of the employed persons with the written authorization of the letter. The beneficiary under the Act are, however those who are in receipt of wages below the Rs 1600/- per month.
Enforcement of the Payment of Wages Act is primarily the responsibility of the State Governments. Inspectors are appointed under the provisions of the Act who conduct regular inspections to ensure that the employers pay the wages timely and correctly. The defaulting employers are advised to pay full wages in time. In case of non-adherence to the advice, there are provisions of prosecutions also. The Central Government is responsible to enforce the Act only in mines, railways, oilfields and air transport service by virtue of Section 24 of the Act.
Section 15 of the Act provides that the wages of an employed person shall be paid to him without any deductions except those authorized under the Act. Deductions permissible from wages inter-alia relates to unauthorized absence from duty, deductions for house accommodations, recovery of advances and statutory dues etc. It also prevents the employers from making any delay in the payment of wages. The employees can apply to the authorities prescribed under the Act for redressal, if deduction is made or there is delay in payment of wages. The authority after giving opportunity may direct the employers to refund the wages with compensation.

Minimum wages Act
A Minimum Wages Bill was introduced in the Central Legislative Assembly on 11.4.48 to provide for fixation of minimum wages in certain employments. It was passed in 1948 and came into force with effect from 15.3.48.
Under the Act, Central and State Governments are appropriate Governments to (a) notify scheduled employment (b) fix/revise minimum wage
The Act contains list of all these employments for which minimum wages are to be fixed by the appropriate Governments.
There are two parts of the Schedule. Part I has non-agricultural employments whereas Part-II has employment in agriculture.
The appropriate Government fixes the minimum wage in respect of only those scheduled employments where the number of employees is 1000 or more.
The norms include those, which were recommended by the Indian Labour Conference in its session held in 1957 at Nainital. (i) 3 consumption units for one earner. (ii) Minimum food requirements of 2700 calories per average Indian adult. (iii) Clothing requirements of 72 yards per annum per family. (iv) Rent corresponding to the minimum area provided for under Government's Industrial Housing Scheme. (v) Fuel, lighting and other miscellaneous items of expenditure to constitute 20% of the total Minimum Wages. (vi) "Children education, medical requirement, minimum recreation including festivals/ceremonies and provision for old age, marriage etc. should further constitute 25% of the total minimum wage." This judgement was delivered by the Supreme Court of India in 1991 in the case of Reptakos Brett and Co.Vs.its workmen.
Section 3 empowers appropriate Government to fix the minimum rates of wages in the schedule employments.
It was recommended in the Labour Ministers' Conference held in 1988, to evolve a mechanism to protect wages against inflation by linking it to rise in the Consumer Price Index. The Variable Dearness Allowance came into being in the year 1991. The allowance is revised twice a year, once on 1st April and then on 1st October. In the State Sphere, 22 States/Union Territories have provisions for Variable Dearness Allowance, at present.
The enforcement of the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act in the Central Sphere , is secured through the officers of Central Industrial Relations Machinery In so far as State Governments/Union Territories are concerned, the enforcement is the responsibility of the respective State Government/Union Territory.
The Central Government introduced national floor level wage in 1996 at Rs 35/- based on the recommendations of the National Commission on Labour in 1991 and subsequent rise in the price level. The floor level wage was last revised to Rs 45/- in November, 1999 on the basis of increase in the Consumer Price Index. The Central Government have been writing to all the State Governments through letters from Hon'ble Prime Minister and Union Labour Minister to ensure that in none of the scheduled employments under their respective jurisdictions, the minimum wages are below the national floor level wage. THE PAYMENT OF BONUS ACT 1965.

The payment of Bonus Act
The payment of Bonus Act is applicable to every factory and every other establishment in which twenty or more persons are employed on any day during an accounting year excluding some categories of employees as contained in section 32 of the Act (i.e. employees in Life Insurance - Corporation, seamen, port and dock workers, universities, etc.).
Definition of an employee - An 'employee' means any person (other than an apprentice) employed on a salary or wage not exceeding three thousand and five hundred rupees per mensem.
Calculation of bonus w.r. to certain employees - where the salary or wage of an employee exceeds two thousand and five hundred rupees per mensem, the bonus payable to such employee shall be calculated as if his salary or wage were two thousand and five hundred rupees per mensem.
Every employee shall be entitled to be paid by his employer in an accounting year, bonus, in accordance with the provisions of this act, provided he has worked in establishment for not less than 30 days.
MINIMUM BONUS - Every employer shall be bound to pay to every employee in respect of the accounting year a minimum Bonus which shall be 8.33 % of the salary or wages earned by the employee during the accounting year or one hundred rupees, whichever is higher, whether or not the employer has any allocable surplus in the accounting year.
MAXIMUM BONUS - Where in respect of any accounting year, the allocable surplus exceeds the amount of minimum bonus payable to the employees, the employer shall, in lieu of such minimum bonus, be bound to pay to every employee in respect of that accounting year bonus which shall be an amount in proportion to the salary or wages earned by the employee during the accounting year subject to a maximum of 20% of such salary or wage.
The employer whom this Act, applies, need not pay any Bonus for first five accounting year in which the Employer sells the goods produced or manufactured by him or render services, as the case may be, from such establishment, bonus shall be payable only in respect of the accounting year in which the employer derives profit from such establishment and such bonus shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of the Act in relation to that year.

THE CONTRACT LABOUR [ Regulation and Abolition] ACT 1970
Every principle employer who intends to employ contract Labor in his Establishment/Factory shall make an application in specified form to the concerned authority of the area in which the establishment sought to be registered is located.
Every application by a contractor for the grant of a Licence shall be made triplicate in specified form to the licensing officer of the area in which the establishment locates, In relation to which he is the contractor, and every application for the grant of a Licence shall be accompanied by a certificate by the principal employer in specified form to the effect that the Applicant has been employed by him as a contractor in relation to his establishment.
Every contractor shall apply to the licensing officer for renewal of the licence in specified form in triplicate and shall be made not less than thirty days before the date on which licence expires along with the prescribed fee.
Every contractor shall display the abstract of the Act, and rules in English and in the language spoken by the majority of workers in such form as may be approved by the labour commissioner.
Notices showing of the rate of wages, hours of work, wage period, dates of payment of unpaid wages shall be displayed in English and in the local language understood by the majority of the workmen.

The Answers post by the user, for information only, FreeLawAnswer does not guarantee the right.
Answer question:

More Questions and Answers: