Royal Talkies V. Esi: a Socio Legal Judgment

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CHAPTER 1

Introduction to the topic

Royal Talkies v. Employee State Insurance Corporation[1] is a case pertaining to Employee State Insurance Act, 1948. The said Act is a piece of welfare legislation that guarantees social security to an employee. Thus before analyzing a case on hand it is appropriate on the part of researcher to illuminate the concept of labour welfare and applicability and objective of Employee State Insurance Act in brief. Thereafter the researcher will comparatively analyse the meaning of term employee under various legislations since the main issue in the aforementioned case is pertaining to meaning of term employee under Section 2(9) of the Employee State Insurance Act, 1948.

1.1 Concept of Labour welfare and Social security

Industry and State cannot flourish when the labour languishes. Labour is considered to be a back bone of any economy. It plays pivotal role in economic growth and development of the organization and to the larger extent of the State. Any organization without productive and satisfied labour force is like body without life. In other words, productivity of labour is considered to be an essential condition for the prosperity of organization as well as of State[2]. The productivity of labour depends upon numerous factors such as wages paid to the workmen, health of workmen, appropriate working condition, training etc. One of the important factors that affect productivity of labour inter alia is Welfare of the workmen. Welfare of workmen directly contributes towards the productivity and efficiency of the workmen. Therefore it is incumbent that labour policy of State and organization to provide schemes for labour welfare.

Labour welfare is an important aspect of Industrial relation. The term labour welfare of workmen elucidates anything done for intellectual, physical, moral and economic betterment of the workmen whether by employers, by Government or by other agencies including what is laid down by law or what is normally expected on the part of contracted benefits for which workmen may have bargained[3]. Labour welfare is very comprehensive term and includes everything undertaken by State, employer and association of workers for the improvement of worker’s standard of living and promotion of their economic and social well being.

The basic objective behind providing welfare schemes is to have satisfied labor force for the organization. The purpose of providing such facilities is to make their work life better and also to raise their standard of living. The benefits of welfare measures can be summarized as follows: 

• It provides better physical and mental health to workers and thus promotes a healthy work environment. • Facilities like housing schemes, medical benefits, and education and recreation facilities for workers’ families help in raising their standards of living. This makes workers to pay more attention towards work and thus increases their productivity. • Employers get stable labour force by providing welfare facilities. Workers take active interest in their jobs and work with a feeling of involvement and participation. • Employee welfare measures increase the productivity of organization and promote healthy industrial relations thereby maintaining industrial peace[4].

One of the means of labour welfare is to provide social security to the workmen or employee. Social security in context of labour laws may be defined as “the security that employer or government furnishes, through appropriate organization, against certain risks to which employee or workmen are exposed”. These risks are essentially contingencies against which the employee or workmen, who have small means, cannot protect themselves. These contingencies include employment injury, sickness, disablement, industrial disease, maternity, old age, burial, widowhood, orphanhood and unemployment. Security of workmen against these contingencies forms an essential part of labour...
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