Fundamentals of Labour Laws in India

Submitted by asandil on 2/19/2014

Labour law appertains to the relationship between employees and employers and between trade unions and employers. Labour Laws in India cover almost all kinds of industries. Different Labour Laws are enacted for different type of industries according to those industries (as for Coal Mines Workers, Dock Workers and Plantation Workers etc. There are different laws to regulate their employment to their respective industries and conditions of service).

Different Labour Laws are also enacted for different subjects (as for Payment of Wages Act, for compensation, Wages Act– Workman Compensation Act, for maternity benefit to women’s – Maternity Benefit Act etc.).

Every person employed in an organization or industry is not “LABOUR” under Labour Laws. There are many exceptions:

  1. A person employed in Supervisory or Managerial position is not treated as labour.

  2. A person who is taking salary which is more than the prescribed in that certain Act is not covered under Labour Law Acts.

  3. In many laws, a person is entitled to get benefit even if he/she exceeds the salary limit but in that case his benefits are limited to the limit prescribed in that Act (For example: payment of Bonus Act – a person whose salary exceeds Rs. 5,000/- p.m. is also eligible for bonus but bonus will be paid as he/she is getting salary of limit prescribed in Act).

  4. Many Labour laws have conditions of having a certain number of employees in industry- organization for their execution in that industry – organization (For example: Employees State Insurance Act is applicable where 10 or more employees are employed).

Generally, Most of the small industries or organizations are not under Labour Laws. In brief, most of the Labour Laws are for the person working in junior level or lower category which government feels can be easily exploited, so the government tries to protect those employee. However, Indian Labour Laws have many provisions that regulate their discipline, employee’s unauthorized absenteeism and even any punishment for breaking discipline.

Labour laws are to give labour reasonable opportunity of defense and to prevent unauthorized termination of service. Otherwise that termination becomes illegal. However, in some circumstances, during termination without any punishment, require no compensation to pay.

As per labour laws, Labour should get minimum fixed wages. It should get salary at fixed time as well as they have the right to get others legal benefit like PF, BONUS, PF, GRATUITY, ESI etc as applicable. It is also include paid holidays and leave. Duty or working hours are also should be fixed.

Apart from that, employer can also go against Labour in labour court and labour laws have provisions to safeguard employer. A labour can also go against other labour in labour court.