· Labour law defines the rights & obligations as workers union members & employers in the workplace.
· Labour law is also known as employment law.
· It is the body of laws, administrative rulings & precedents which address the legal rights of & restrictions on, working people & their organization.
· Industrial relations: Certification of unions, labour-management relations, collective bargaining & unfair labour practices.
· Workplace health & safety.
· Employment standards, including general holidays, annual leave, working hours, unfair dismissals, minimum wage, layoff procedures & severance pay.
1. Collective labour laws relates to the tripartite relationship between employee, employer & union.
2. Individual labour law concerns employee’s rights at work & though the contract for work.
· The labour movement has been instrumental in the enacting of laws protecting labour rights in the 19th & 20th centuries.
· In India, law relating to labour & employment is also known as Industrial labour.
· It is well known that Indian textile goods offered stiff competition to British textiles in the export market & hence in order to make Indian labour costlier the factories Act was first introduced in 1883 because of the pressure brought on the British parliament.
· The earliest Indian statute to regulate the relationship between employer & his workmen was the “Trade Dispute Act” 1929. Provisions were made in this Act for restraining the rights of strike & lock out but no machinery was provided to take care of disputes.
· Ultimately, the Industrial Disputes Act brought into force on 1 April 1997 repeating the Trade Disputes Act 1929.
· Creative measures to attract public & private investment
· Creating new jobs
· New social security schemes for workers in the unorganized sector.
· Long term settlements based on productivity.
· Statutory amendments for expediting & steam lining the mechanism of labour Judiciary.
· Efficient functioning of Labour Department.
· More labour sectors under Minimum Wages Act.
· Child labour act to be aggressively informed
· Modern medical facilities for workers etc.
· The labour laws have also been significantly influenced by the deliberations of the various sessions of the Indian labour conference & the International labour conference.
· Labour legislations have been shaped & influenced by the recommendations of the various & National committees & commissions such as “first National Commission on Labour (1969), National Commission on Rural Labour (199), Second National Commission on labour (2002) and Judicial pronouncements on labour related matters specifically pertaining to minimum wages, bonded labour, child labour, contract labour etc.
· Labour is a subject in the concurrent list where both the central & state governments are competent to enact legislations.
· The legislations can be categorized as follows:
a. Labour laws enacted by the Central Government, where the central Government has the sole responsibility for enforcement
· The Employee’s state Insurance Act, 1948
· The Employee’s provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
· The Dock workers (Safety, Health & Welfare) Act, 1986
· The Mines Act, 1952
· The Mica Mines Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1946
· The Beeds Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1976
· The Limestone & Dolomite Mines labour Welfare Fund Act, 1972
· The cine Workers Welfare (Cess) Act, 1981
· The Beeds Workers welfare Fund Act, 1976
· The Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981
· The Iron Ore Mines, Manganese Ore Mines & Chroris Ore Mines Labour Welfare Cess/Fund Act, 1976
b. Labour laws enacted by Central Government & enforced both by Central & state government
· The Child labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986
· The Building & other constructions worker’s (Regulation of employment & conditions of service) Act, 1996
· The Control labour (regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970
· The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
· The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
· The Industrial Employment (standing Orders) Act, 1946
· The Inter State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1979
· The labour laws (Exemption from furnishing Returns & maintaining Register By Certain Establishments) Act, 1988
· The maternity Benefit Act, 1961
· The Minimum Wages Act, 1948
· The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965
· Cine Workers & Cinema theatre workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1981
· Building & Other constitution workers Cess Act, 1996
· The Apprentices Act, 1961
· Unorganized workers Social Security Act, 2008
· Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act, 1958
· Merchant Shipping Act, 1958
· Sales Promotion Employees Act, 1976
· Dangerous Machines (Regulation) Act, 1983
· Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1948
· Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) (Inapplicability to Major Ports) Act, 1997
· Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005
c. Labour laws enacted by Central Government & enforced by the State Governments.
· The Employer’s liability Act, 1938
· The Factories Act, 1948
· The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961
· The Personal Injuries (Compensation Insurance) Act, 1963
· The Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1962
· The Plantation Labour Act, 1951
· The state Promotion Employees (conditions of service) Act, 1976
· The Trade Unions Act, 1926
· The Weekly Holidays Act, 1942
· The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923
· Working Journalists & Other News papers Employees (Conditions of service) & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955. The Employment Exchange (Compulsory Notification of vacancies) Act, 1959
· The Children (Pledging of labour) Act, 1938
· Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976
· The Beedi & Cigar workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966
· Each state in India may special labour regulations in certain circumstances:
1. In 2004, the state of Ahmadabad amended the Industrial Disputes Act’ to allow greater labour market flexibility in the Special Export zones & Gujarat West Bengal.
2. The West Bengal Government revised its labour laws making it visually impossible to shut down a loss making factory.
3. The West Bengal law applies to all companies within the state that employ 50 or more employees.
4. Labour policy in India has been evolving in response to specific needs of the situation to suit requirements of planned economic development & social justice & has two fold objectives, namely maintaining industrial peace & promoting the welfare of labour.