An Overview of Labor Laws in India

The labor laws in India provide for labor rights and regulate terms of employment. Typically, labor laws are laws pertaining to employer-employee relationships. They guarantee few legal rights to the workers. Further, they aim to promote interests of the workers.

The labor laws can be classified in two major categories. The first category consists of laws defining the relationship between trade unions, employees and employers. The second category includes laws that provides for rights of employees at work place. Labor laws were formulated to address demands of workers for improvement of working conditions, wages, working hours, protection of labor rights and settlement of industrial disputes.

Indian laws on labor rights and work places are regulated by the Ministry of Labor and Employment. The major Indian laws pertaining to rights of workers and employment are, such as:

  • The Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.
  • The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965.
  • The Payment of Wages Act, 1936.
  • The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.
  • The Trade Unions Act, 1926.
  • The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
  • The Factories Act, 1948.
  • The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
  • The Employee’s State Insurance Act, 1948.

Labor Law: Things to Know

Labor laws in India provide for the provision of legal strikes and the right to strike. However, the Government is empowered to limit these rights in favor of public order. Here are few things to know about labor laws in India:

The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, was enacted in 1947. Few provisions of the Act are derived from the Trade Dispute Act, 1929. It provided for formation of two types of institutions to promote industrial peace, namely, the Works committees and the Industrial Tribunals.

The committees comprise of the representatives of workers and employers. It aims to promote harmonious relations and smooth the communication process between the parties. The tribunals were empowered to address industrial disputes.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is the international body that addresses labor issues and promotes labor rights. Further, it upholds the principle ‘labor is not a commodity’ and calls for equal, fair and dignified treatment to workers at workplace.

The author, Swapna, is a crazy, fun-loving, intense, moody and liberal thinking Indian mom. She loves writing about books, wines, food, movies, musings on news around the world, and Indian Laws. She has keen interest on the Constitution of India. She has practiced law for three years in litigation in Kerala, specialized in labor laws during recent LLB course. She also functioned as Commissioner appointed by the Rent Control court to undertake a site investigation on behalf of the court and submitted the report before the aforementioned court.

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