Labour Legislation

Topics: Trade union, Labour relations, Employment Pages: 14 (4435 words) Published: January 7, 2013
The term `labour legislation’ is used to cover all the laws which have been enacted to deal with “employment and non-employment” wages, working conditions, industrial relations, social security and welfare of persons employed in industries.

Need for labour legislation in India:
Organized industry in a planned economy calls for the spirit of co-operation and mutual dependence for attaining the common purpose of greater, better and cheaper production. Since this has not been happening voluntarily, the need for State intervention. In India, labour legislation is treated as an arm of the State for the regulation of working and living conditions of workers. The need for labour legislation may be summarized as under: o Necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of workers;

o Necessary to protect workers against oppressive terms as individual worker is economically weak and has little bargaining power; o To encourage and facilitate the workers in the organization; o To deal with industrial disputes;

o To enforce social insurance and labour welfare schemes.

The objectives of labour legislations are two-fold:
o Preservation of the health, safety and welfare of workers; and o Maintenance of good relations between employers and employees.

Principles of labour legislation:
Social Justice: 
o The essence of democracy is ensuring social justice to all sections of the community. o This demands the protection of those who cannot protect themselves. o In modern industrial set-up, workers, left to themselves, are unable to protect their interest. o Therefore, the State has to intervene to help them by granting them freedom of association, the power of collective bargaining and by providing for mediation or arbitration in the case of industrial conflict. Social Equity:

o Legislation based on this principle provides for achievement of definite standards. Standards in terms of living, position in society etc. of the working population. These standards for the working class can be achieved by bringing about changes in the Law of our land. o Power to change the Law is exercised by the government.

Existing laws may be amended to meet the changed standards. National Economy:
o Measures have to be provided through legislation to:
Ensure normal growth of industry for the benefit of the nation as a whole; Satisfy the physical and intellectual needs of the citizens; Ensure the growth of industrial efficiency such as to adjust the wage system with a view to increase the productivity and prosperity of the workers. International Uniformity:

o Since its inception, securing minimum standards (for the working population – worldwide) on a uniform basis in respect of all labour matters has been the main objective of ILO. o To this end, conventions are passed at the conferences of ILO. o As a member of the ILO, adopting these conventions would require appropriate legislation to be brought about. o The influence of international labour conventions has been significant in shaping the course of labour legislation in India.

Labour Legislation in India:
In India, we have many labour laws that affect the labour conditions. The main laws are: o The Factories Act, 1948.
o The Trade Union Act, 1926.
o The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
o The Payment of Wages Act, 1936.
o The Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
o The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.


Background to Trade Union Legislation in India:
In India, labour organizations came into existence in the last decade of the 19th Century. But they appeared in their modern form only in 1914.
Their numbers increased, their membership expanded and they became active in seeking to promote and safeguard the interest of workers. But they had to face hostilities from the employers and the public authorities. o The legality of trade unions was doubted.

o They were perceived as bodies trying to restrain others from exercising a lawful...
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