Contract Labour

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The category of contract labor, also known as contingent or temporary labor, is complex category of spend that is playing an increasingly significant role in today’s enterprise.In a world where the market for qualified and available labor is continually expanding, enterprises are on a quest to fill requisitions in a timely manner and ensure that cost savings are part of the benefit. WORKERS’ PROTECTION ISSUES :

The establishment of the International Labour Organisation in 1917 was a watershed development for protecting the interest of the working class all over the world. The ILO brought new vision and new focus on issues which were affecting employment, working conditions, social security, rights of workers and employers, occupational health and safety. What is important is that ILO provided a tripartite forum for the concerned social partners in industry and through that forum, it encouraged meaningful dialogues which were backed by systematic and scientific studies on various issues affecting the labour.ts of contingent labor.

The standard setting activities of the International Labour Organisation helped in bringing about measures of equity and equality consistent with socio-economic conditions in the countries.
There are several aspects of workers’ protection - wages and working conditions, occupational health and safety, right to unionise and collective bargaining and protection against arbitrary dismissal or removal from employment. The degree and effectiveness of these types of protection depends on the state of socio-economic development, growth of income, demand for labour, and education and skill of workers. It also depends on the level of social enlightenment of the people. However, among these various aspects of workers’ protection the critical aspect is the protection of employment or security of job. This is because it is the security of employment that generally confers other benefits and measures of protection such as social securities like Provident Fund, Pension, health-care, paid leave, regulation of conditions of work and so on.

Usually, there are institutional arrangements to regulate and manage these measures. …The productivity of labour is an essential
condition for the prosperity of enterprises and the
well being of the workers and their families. While
the production facilities at workplace and the
remuneration are important, attitudes towards work,
and the value placed by the society on dignity of
labour are equally important in influencing the
productivity of labour.

Section 10 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 provides for prohibition of contract labour under certain circumstances, such as, perennial nature of the process, operation or work etc. From time to time, workers and their representatives have been demanding prohibition of employment of contract labour in various categories of jobs in various establishments whereas there has been increasing resistance from the employers in the matter. In its judgment of December, 1996 in the Air India case the Supreme Court, inter-alia, ruled that where employment of contract labour has been prohibited in a process, operation or other work in an establishment, contract labour engaged in such activities would automatically become the employees of the principal employer. Subsequently, a fivejudge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the matter of SAIL vs. National Union of Waterfront Workers has quashed the Air India Judgment in August, 2001 prospectively diluting its impact, but the situation has not undergone much change. The workers have continued to demand for abolition of contract labour in the hope that they may force the employer to absorb them on a regular basis as they are entitled to get preference if the employer intends to take regular workmen in the prohibited job.

A person casually engaged in other’s farm or non-farm enterprises (both household and non-household) and getting...
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