Labour laws are meant to formally codify the responsibilities of an employer towards the workers and provide an avenue for legal recourse to an employee in case of violation of rights. Every commercial organization operating in the country engages professionals like employment law consultants who advise them on all regulatory compliances related to employment of staff members. It is essential that such experts possess the knowledge about all the relevant laws that are applicable to almost every organization which needs to hire people for its day to day functioning. A list of some of the most important labour laws is being presented here for the benefit of all labour law consultants.
1. Employees Provident Fund And Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
This law which came into effect on March 4, 1952, was framed with the motive of providing a social security network to workers which will be helpful for him/ her during the post-retirement period or for the employee’s family in the unfortunate event of his/ her early demise. The Employees Provident Fund Organization is responsible for running the provident fund, pension and insurance schemes which are financed by money pooled by deducting a percentage of the employee’s salary every month with a matching contribution made by the employer.
2. Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 was introduced in order to provide a mechanism for the investigation and resolution of any dispute occurring between the workforce and the management of an organization located in any industry in the country. The Act also specifies the provision for compensation in case of closure of a business or retrenchment besides the procedure that a company has to follow before closing the operations or laying off the workers. It also lists unfair labour practices for workers as well as the employers.
3. Payment Of Wages Act, 1936
The right of every employee to get salary on time is secured by the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 which directs the employer to pay the wages due to any worker with only those deductions which have been permitted by the act. All such deductions have been listed in the act which also lays down specific conditions for the fixing of the time period for which wages must be paid besides the time by which they have to be paid apart from the mode of payment.
4. Payment Of Bonus Act, 1965
A bonus is a part of the profit earned by any commercial organization which it shares with its staff members and the Payment of Bonus Act governs the procedure of such payments. It is applicable to every establishment which has employed 20 or more persons.
5. Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972
Gratuity is a type of retirement benefit offered to employees who have worked for a minimum of 5 years continuously at an organization. Beneficial for people working in the private sector, the Payment of Gratuity Act ensures that every enterprise with 10 or more people on its payroll pays the amount to the eligible person. The gratuity amount is calculated at a rate of 15 days wages for every completed year of service or part of the year in excess of six months subject to a ceiling amount specified by the government.
6. Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923
A very important Act that every labour law consultant must know about, the Workmen’s Compensation Act ensures the payment of compensation by certain classes of employers to a worker or his/ her dependant in case of an injury sustained in an accident which occurred during discharge of duties by the individual at the workplace. Any failure on part of the employer in paying such dues may make him/ her liable for the criminal offense.
7. Apprentices Act, 1961
The Apprentices Act, 1961 was formulated to provide a legal framework for regulation and control of training of trade apprentices. Anyone who has specialized in a craft besides diploma holders and some other specified graduates who desire to have practical training for a specific duration can enter into an apprenticeship agreement with the organization providing the training. The terms and conditions of the apprenticeship apart from the responsibilities of the employer are listed in the agreement which also provides an avenue for legal recourse in case of a dispute.
8. Factories Act, 1948
The original act was amended by the Factories (Amendment) Act, 1987 and regulates the working conditions in factories or similar establishments such as docks and lays down guidelines that affect health, safety welfare and annual leave of workers. All organizations with 10 or more staff members have to follow the provisions of the act, which also lists the penalties for employers if they do not adhere to the law.
9. Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition And Redressal) Act, 2013
A very important law that all establishments involved in providing employment to women have to follow. The act provides a definition of sexual harassment with a detailed list of all the circumstances that can be classified under the category. It also mentions the duties and responsibilities of employers towards the female members of the workforce and the mechanism which the employer has to establish at the organization for dealing with any case of sexual harassment.
10. Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017
This was an amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 which protects the employment of a woman during the period of maternity and entitles her to benefit in the form of full paid absence from work. Any establishment with more than 10 persons on the payroll has to follow this law and is applicable to any female staff member who has worked in the organization for a period of at least 80 days in the last 12 months.
11. Child And Adolescent Labour (Prohibition And Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016
The old act which was introduced in 1986 was amended in 2016 and prohibits the employment of any child under the age of 14 as a worker in any establishment. It also has provisions that regulate the employment of adolescents i.e individuals between the age of 14 to 18 years, who can be employed in a place of work or process which is not hazardous.
The knowledge of all the above-mentioned laws is essential for every labour law consultant apart from any other applicable regulations as entrepreneurs depends on them for getting advice on following compliance regulations as well as understanding their responsibilities towards their workforce.
Amy Jones is a professional legal expert working with Ahlawat & Associates. A company that provides Property Dispute Lawyers in a convenient manner. She is a passionate writer and loves to share business-related tips.