Some important labour laws in India

KNC501/KNC601 Constitution of India, Law and Engineering

Chapter 13: Law at workplace

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Unit 5


Some Important Labour Laws in India

1. The Trade Unions Act, 1926:-

Trade unions are a very strong medium to safe the rights of the employees. These unions have the power to compel higher management to accept their reasonable demands.

Article 19(1)(c) of the Indian Constitution gives everyone the right “to form associations or unions”. The Trade Unions Act 1926, amended in 2001 and contains rules on governance and general rights of trade unions.

2. The Payment of Wages Act 1936:-

This act ensures that workers must get wages/salaries on time and without any unauthorized deductions. Section 6 of the Wages Act 1936 says that workers must be paid in money rather than in kind.

3. Industrial Disputes Act 1947:-

This act has the provisions regarding the fair dismissal of permanent employees.
As per this law, a worker who has been employed for more than a year can only be dismissed if permission is sought from and granted by the appropriate government office/concerned authority.

A worker must be given valid reasons before dismissal. An employee of permanent job nature can only be terminated for proven misconduct or for habitual absence from the office.

4. Minimum Wages Act, 1948:-

This act ensures minimum wage/salary to workers of different economic sectors. State and Central governments have the power to decide wages according to the kind of work and location.

This wage may range between as much as Rs 143 to 1120/ day. This minimum wage can be different in states to states.

The average per day wage rate for unskilled work under the MGNREGA is set to rise by 11% from Rs. 182 to Rs. 202 for 2020-21.

A MGNREGA worker gets Rs 258/day in Dadra and Nagar Haveli while Rs 238 in Maharashtra and Rs 204 in West Bengal.

5. Maternity Benefits Act, 1961:-

This Act entitles maternity leave for pregnant women employees’ i.e. full payment despite absence from work. As per this act, female workers are entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks (84 days) of maternity leave. All the organised and un-organised offices that have more than 10 employees shall implement this act.

So this law protects the job of the female workers during pregnancy and post-delivery. This act has been amended in 2017.

6. Sexual Harassment of Women employees at Workplace Act, 2013:-

This act prohibits any kind of sexual Harassment of the women workers at the workplace. This Act came into force from 9 December 2013.

What comes under sexual Harassment:-

  1. Showing pornography.
  2. A demand or request for sexual favours.
  3. Sexually coloured remarks.
  4. Physical contact and advances.
  5. Any other unwelcome physical verbal or non-verbal behaviour of sexual nature.
  6. Lewd comment.

This act must be implemented by all public or private and organized or unorganized sectors that have more than 10 employees. This act covers all women, irrespective of her age or employment status. Most Indian employers did not implement this law.

So these were some important labour laws in India which are made to protect the employment and ensure good working conditions, fixed working hours, fair payment, bonus and maternity leaves etc.

Author – Dilip Kumar Rawat

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