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Labour Welfare

Labour Welfare

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Published by kamdica
personnel management notes. best for mirpm. visit hrmba.blogspot.com for more
personnel management notes. best for mirpm. visit hrmba.blogspot.com for more

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Published by: kamdica on Nov 06, 2009
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07/19/2014

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Visithrmba.blogspot.commbafin.blogspot.commirpm.blogspot.comfor more notes, presentations, Project reports etc.Social Security and Labour Welfare in India: A review
Social security is one of the pillars on which the structure of a welfare state rests,and it constitutes the hard core of social policy in most countries. It is throughsocial security measures that the state attempts to maintain every citizen at acertain prescribed level below which no one is allowed to fall. It is the securitythat society furnishes through appropriate organization, against certain risks towhich its members are exposed (ILO, 1942). Social security system compriseshealth and unemployment insurance, family allowances, provident funds, pensions and gratuity schemes, and widows’ and survivors’ allowances. Theessential characteristics of social insurance schemes include their compulsory andcontributory nature; the members must first subscribe to a fund from which benefits could be drawn later. On the other hand, social assistance is a methodaccording to which benefits are given to the needy persons, fulfilling the prescribed conditions, by the government out of its own resources.The present section reviews labour welfare activities in India with particular emphasis on the unorganized sector. Although provisions for workmen’scompensation in case of industrial accidents and maternity benefits for womenworkforce had existed for long, a major breakthrough in the field of socialsecurity came only after independence. The Constitution of India (Article 41) laiddown that the State shall make effective provision for securing the right to publicassistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and inother cases of underserved want. The Government took several steps incompliance of the constitutional requirements. The Workmen’s CompensationAct (1926) was suitably revised and social insurance programmes weredeveloped for industrial workers. Provident funds and gratuity schemes wereintroduced in most industries, and maternity legislation was overhauled.Subsequently, State governments instituted their own social assistance programmes. The provisions for old age comprise pension, provident fund, andgratuity schemes. All the three provisions are different forms of retirement
 
 benefits. Gratuity is a lump sum payment made to a worker or to his/her heirs bythe company on termination of his/her service due to retirement, invalidity,retrenchment or death (Vajpayee and Shanker, 1950).
Welfare
Welfare is the provision and maintenance of the conditions of life for individuals by the community.Welfare has a
 positive
and
negative
aspect.
 Negative
welfare is the provision by the state or other institutions of a “safety net” or the distribution of  benefits according to some criteria; so-called
 positive
welfare is the provision of opportunities for people to “help themselves”. This contrast lies behind foreign-aid strategies which concentrate on providing skills or “seedcapital” rather than food parcels, for example. The concept of positive andnegative welfare is related to the concepts of positive and negative freedom.Marxists support both positive and negative welfare, but recognise that themarket inevitably generates inequality and a class of people inevitably therecipients of welfare, who have nothing to sell but their labour power,alongside a class of people who live off the proceeds of exploitation,invariably the providers of welfare. Only by bringing the means of  production under thorough going proletarian democracy can the very needfor welfare be abolished.
Concept of labour welfare
The concept of labour welfare is flexible and elastic and differswidely with time, region, industry, social values and customs, degree of industrialization, the general socio-economic development of the people andthe political ideologies prevailing at a particular time. It is also mouldedaccording to the age-groups, socio-cultural background, marital andeconomic status and educational level of the workers in various industries 
 
In its broad connotation, the term welfare refers to a state of living of anindividual or group in a desirable relationship with total environment – ecological, economic, and social. Conceptually as well as operationally,labour welfare is a part of social welfare which, in turn, is closely linked tothe concept and the role of the State. The concept of social welfare, in itsnarrow contours, has been equated with economic welfare. As these goalsare not always be realised by individuals
 
through their efforts alone, thegovernment came into the picture and gradually began to
 
take over theresponsibility for the free and full development of human personality of its population.Labour welfare is an extension of the term Welfare and itsapplication to labour. During the industrialisation process, the stress onlabour productivity increased; and brought about changes in the thinking onlabour welfare. An early study under the UN observed as follows “in our opinion most underdeveloped countries are in the situation that investmentin people is likely to prove as productive, in the purely material sense, as anyinvestment in material resources and in many cases, investment in peoplewould lead to a greater increase of the flow of goods and services thanwould follow upon any comparable investment in material capital” (UN,1951). The theory that welfare expenditure, especially expenditure on healthand education, is productive investment has led to the view that workerscould work more productively if they were given a fair deal both at the work  place and in the community.The concept of labour welfare has received inspiration from theconcepts of democracy and welfare state. Democracy does not simply denotea form of government; it is rather a way of life based on certain values suchas equal rights and privileges for all. The operation of welfare services, inactual practice, brings to bear on it different reflections representing the broad cultural and social conditions. In short, labour welfare is the voluntaryefforts of the employers to establish, within the existing industrial system,working and sometimes living and cultural conditions of the employees beyond what is required by law, the custom of the industry and theconditions of the market (A. J. Todd, 1933).The constituents of labour welfare included working hours,working conditions, safety, industrial health insurance, workmen’scompensation, provident funds, gratuity, pensions, protection againstindebtedness, industrial housing, rest rooms, canteens, crèches, wash places,

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