Classification of Labour Legislations

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Classification of Labour Legislations

Labour Legislations Classification

On the basis of specific objectives, which it has sought to achieve, the Labour Legislations Classification can be classified into following categories:labour legislations Classification
1. Regulative
2. Protective
3. Wage-related
4. Social security
5. Welfare both inside and outside the workplace

Regulative: Labour Legislations Classification

The main objective of the regulative legislation is to regulate the relations between employees and employers and to provide for methods and manners of settling industrial disputes. Such laws also regulate the relationship between the workers and their trade unions, the rights and obligations of the organisations of employers and workers as well as their mutual relationships.

Trade Unions Act, 1926

Trade unions are primarily formed to regulate the relations between workmen and employers. Upon registration, trade unions enjoy certain protection and privileges under the law. In addition, the Act also provides for imposing restrictions on the conduct of any trade or business A registered trade union is a body corporate with a perpetual entity under a common seal. From the HR manager’s point of view, it is essential to invite registered trade unions of the unit only for collective bargaining and also from participative forums like works committee, etc., from their nominated representative.

Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 primarily regulates industrial relations in India. The Act provides a machinery and procedure for settlement of industrial disputes by negotiation, without resorting to strikes and lockouts. The scope of the Act extends to the whole of India for every industrial establishment carrying on any business, trade, irrespective of the number of people employed. A tentative list of disputes, covered under this Act is reproduced below:
1. The propriety or legality of standing orders
2. Discharge or dismissal
3. Matters pertaining to reinstatement or grant of relief for wrongful dismissal
4. Matters pertaining to withdrawal of any concession or privilege
5. Matters pertaining to strike or lockout
6. Payment of wages, including periodicity and mode of payment
7. Leave and hours of work
8. Holidays
9. Bonus
10. Retirement benefits
11. Discipline
12. Non-implementation of the award, etc.

Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946

This Act requires employers to clarify conditions of employment so as to enable the workmen (employed by them) to understand the rules of conduct pertaining to working hours, holidays, attendance, leave, termination of employment, suspension or dismissal, misconduct, etc. The Act is applicable to industrial establishments, employing 100 or more workmen. Under this Act, employers are required to submit a draft of standing orders to the certifying officer for certification.

Protective: Labour Legislations Classification

Under this category come those legislations whose primary purpose is to protect labour standards and to improve the working conditions. Laws laying down the minimum labour standards in the areas of hours of work, supply, employment of children and women, etc. in the factories, mines, plantations, transport, shops and other establishments are included in this category.
Some of these are the following:

Factories Act, 1948

This Act is divided into twelve chapters covering 141 sections, which again are supplemented by three schedules. The first Act was enacted in 1881 to regulate working conditions in factories primarily for women and children and to provide them health and safety measures. The new Act of 1948 replaced the earlier one and through a series of amendments made from time to time, the Act is now more comprehensive covering all areas of working conditions of labour.

Shops and Establishments Acts

The Act, in essence, a state legislation. It seeks to regulate the working conditions of workers in the unorganised sector, including shops and establishments which do not come under the Factories Act Regulations.

Wage-related: Labour Legislations Classification

Legislation laying down the methods and manner of wage payment as well as the minimum wages come under this category:

Payment of Wages Act, 1936

The Act is intended to regulate the payment of wages in a particular form at regular intervals without any unauthorised deductions. It is applicable to the employees receiving wages below Rs.1,600 per month. As per the Act, employers are responsible for payment of wages to the employees duly fixing the wage periods (which in no case should exceed one month), deciding about the time of payment as per the norms (which requires payment within seven days of the expiry of the wage period.

Minimum Wages Act, 1948

The Act provides for minimum statutory wages for scheduled employment. The Act also stipulates maximum daily working hours, weekly rest and overtime. The Act empowers the State Government to fix minimum wages, failing which they cease the right to engage labour and run the industry.

Payment of Bonus Act, 1965

The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 imposes statutory liability on employees (covered under the Act) to pay a bonus to employees according to the prescribed formula, linking the bonus with profits or productivity.

Social Security: Labour Legislations Classification

They cover those legislations, which intend to provide to the workmen, social security benefits under certain contingencies of life and work.

Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923

Factories and establishments which are not covered under the Employees State Insurance Act are covered under this Act to provide relief to workmen and/or their dependents in case of accidents arising out of and in the course of employment causing either death or disablement of workmen. The workmen’s compensation (Amendment) Act, 2000 w.e.f. 8-12-2000 has brought all the workmen within the limit of this Act, irrespective of their nature of employment.

Employees PF and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952

The Act provides for the compulsory contributory fund for social security of the employees and their dependents (in the case of death). It extends to every factory, establishment employing 20 or more persons. The Central Government, however, by notification, brings any establishment under the purview of the Act even in cases where such establishments 19.6.1 Factories Act, 1948.

Maternity Benefit Act, 1961

This provides maternity benefits to women employees. It sets out that a woman may avail maternity leave with full salary before or after the birth of her child.

Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972

This Act is also a social security measure to provide a retirement benefit to the workmen, who have rendered long and unblemished service to the employer. Employees are entitled to receive gratuity under the Act.

Welfare: Labour Legislations Classification

Legislation coming under this category aim at promoting the general welfare of the workers and improving their living conditions. Though in a sense, all labour-laws can be said to be promoting the welfare of the workers and improving their living conditions and though many of the protective labour laws also contain chapters on labour welfare; the laws coming under this category have the specific aim of providing for improvements in the living conditions of workers. They also carry the term “Welfare” in their titles.
1. Limestone and Dolomite Mines Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1972
2. The Mica Mines Welfare Fund Act, 1946
3. The Iron Ore Mines, Manganese Ore Mines and Chrome Ore Mines Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1976
4. The Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981
In addition, some state governments have also enacted legislation for welfare funds
5. Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1976

Miscellaneous: Labour Legislations Classification

Besides the above, there are other kinds of labour laws, which are very important. Some of these are:
1. The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970
2. Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
3. Building and other construction workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
4. Apprentices Act, 1961
5. Emigration Act, 1983
6. Employment Exchange (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959
7. Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act, 1979
8. Sales Promotion Employees (Condition of Service) Act, 1976
9. Working Journalists and other Newspapers Employees (Condition of Service and Miscellaneous Provision) Act, 1955.


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