Labour laws enforce legal rights of people employed in the organized and unorganized sector. Close to growth status of the largest populated country China, India stands at a point where the present number of people employed still faces numerous difficulties in raising their standard of living and injustice have done to them in name of illiteracy and physical disability. With such a scenario, it becomes in all important for employers and government to make them aware of all legal reforms available to them to fight against such riots.
Labour laws have always been a matter of discussion for government to ensure that employees associated with any related work field receive the best & feasible working environment.With such laws, the government fixes an appropriate standard of living criteria and employs its forces to create as many new policies as it can in favor of social benefit of workers. Moreover, labour laws keep a check on the behavior of employers towards their employees which further help them get saved of exploitation done at a workplace.
While it seems, compliance to such laws favors only employees but rather it also carries some legal benefits to employers as well in the form of – tax rebates, easy statutory approvals, support of the government in worker negotiations etc. Thus, compliance with labour laws is among the clerical activities of business which as per legal authorities has to be incorporated with other legal formalities. Below we have listed out some important labour laws which are to be mandatorily followed by business officials in order to keep themselves away from union strikes and inconvenience caused by legal oppositions of workers towards their company.
- The Factories Act, 1948 – This act aims at building a healthy working atmosphere for employees working in any registered or unregistered industry. It legally specifies the rights, responsibilities, and powers realizable of both workers and employers at a workplace.
- The Employees Provident Fund Act, 1952 – The act aims at securing the availability of basic life amenities to employees by mandating some regular amount of deposits by employers on behalf of employees to provident fund agencies. It further supports welfare benefits to employees like medical facilities, retirement, housing, child education, financing insurance policy etc
- Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2017 – The act aims at realising health and work security benefits to mother employees during their time of maternity. The act directs to provide paid leaves to mother workers and commission them with work from home options, crèche facilities and the most appropriate financial aid possible.
- The Apprentices Act, 1961 – The act aims at specifying basic leave allowances and maintaining work-life balance for the employee. It mandates for allowing 12 days casual leave, 15 days of medical leave and 10 days leave with any other certain reason to be opted as paid leaves. The act also specifies for a work duration of the maximum of 42 to 48 hours for an employee per week.
- The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 – The act aims at securing some retirement benefits for the employees in the form of gratuity. Gratuity means a contribution made by employers to employees to provide them a gratitude of their service performed by them during their life association with the company.
- The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923- The act aims at providing a reasonable compensation to an employee who got injured at work place in an accident. Non compliance to this law may attract major penalties on employers.
- The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 –The act aims at specifying the basic pay for employees at work place without any sort of deductions made. It also specifies the basic rights of employees to receive their payment even when the reason of their removal from the company is personal grievances of the employer. It holds all major rights of commanding business owners to maintain a decent regularity in payment of wages and to suffice them with allowances of bonuses and perks.
- The Industrial Disputes Act,1947- The act aims at building ease for employees to fight against employers in case of non payment of wages, ill treatment at work place, handling legal disputes with employers and un-notified termination from the job.
- The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 – The act aims at providing additional monetary support to employees in the form of bonus for additional work done in the company. For non compliance of this law, an employer may be penalised with a defined rate of bonus to be provided to the employee as a compulsory contribution.
- The Employees State Insurance Act (ESIC), 1948 – The act purposes for health security and protection against life hazards caused at a workplace to employees. It looks for implementation of employer schemes and initiatives taken for providing medical benefits to employees and their families.
- Social Security Act, 2008–The act aims at specifying social security benefits to employees on part of both employers and government. It states for applicability for all new schemes and benefits raised by the government for securing off the job needs of employees.
- Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act,1976.
- The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act,1970.
- The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act,1979.
As stated in the law, spreading awareness about all rights and remedies available to employees in such laws is a moral duty of an employer. While non compliance to such may result in an invitation to ethical issues to business. Also, it might not be possible for an entrepreneur to know & comply with each labour laws individually, thus getting the assistance of a legal expert on such matters is always recommended.