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LABOUR DEPARTMENT FUNCTIONS

The functions of the Labour Department are broadly classified as under 1. Maintenance of industrial relations 2. Fixation and Revision of minimum rates of wages 3. Enforcement of Labour Laws 4. Quasi-judicial functions 5. Registration and Renewals 6. Welfare of Labour

1. Maintenance of industrial relations: The Conciliation Officers, appointed by the Government, are charged with the duty of mediating in and promoting the settlement of industrial disputes.The Conciliation Officer investigates the dispute without delay for the purpose bringing about a settlement of the dispute. He will do all such things as he thinks fit for the purpose of inducing the parties to come to a fair and amicable settlement of the dispute. If a settlement of the dispute or of any of the matters in dispute is arrived at in the course of the conciliation proceedings, the conciliation officer sends a report thereof to the Government together with a memorandum of the settlement signed by the parties to the dispute. If no such settlement is arrived at, the conciliation officer sends to the Government a full report setting forth the steps taken by him for ascertaining the facts and circumstances relating to the dispute and for bringing about a settlement there of, together with a full settlement of such facts and circumstances, and the reasons on account of which in his opinion, a settlement could not be arrived at.If, on a consideration of the report, the Government is satisfied that there is a case for reference to a Board, Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal it makes a reference. While referring a dispute for adjudication, the Government is empowered to prohibit the continuance of strike or lock-out.

2. Fixation and Revision of minimum rates of wages: The Government fixes and revises minimum rates of wages in different schedules of employment under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. Minimum rates of wages have been fixed in 61Scheduled and 8 Scheduled employments under Part-II of the Schedule of Minimum Wages Act,1948. The Government appoints an Advisory Board to advise it in the matter of fixing and revising minimum rates of wages. During the year 1989, Government have ntroduced the Cost of Living Allowance in addition to the notified basic wages in irespect of Scheduled employments covered under Part-I of the Schedule. The Commissioner of Labour notifies the increase of average Consumer Price Index Numbers on 1st April and 1st October every year. The Process of revision of minimum rates of wages is being taken up for every 5 years against the schedule employments where the VDA component is a part of wages and for every two years where the VDA is not applicable. 3. Enforcement of Labour Laws: Enforcement of Labour laws is the main duty of the inspectorate of the Labour Department. The officers of the Labour Department are notified as inspectors under various Labour Acts to inspect the shops, establishments, industrial units and other schedule employments and check the implementation of various provisions of labour enactments. The inspectors check the maintenance of statutory registers and records. They interrogate the workers and cross-check the genuineness of the entries in the registers, prepare inspection reports on the spot and take necessary action on the violations if any found. From Asst. Labour Officer to the Commissioner of Labour there are 385 inspectors in the Labour Department. The inspectors are empowered to seize the registers and records in respect of an offence which the inspectors have reason to believe has been committed by the employer.

4. Quasi-judicial functions: The officers of the Labour Department are appointed as Authorities to hear and decide cases of workmen under different enactments. The Commissioners for Workmens Compensation decide the cases for payment of compensation for injury or death by accidents arising out of and in the course of employment. The Controlling Authorities under Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 decide the claims of workmen arising out of payment of gratuity. The Authorities under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 decide the claims arising out of the payment of less than minimum rates of wages. The Authorities under Payment of Wages Act, 1936 decide the claims arising out of delayed or deducted wages. The Authorities under the A.P. Shops & Establishments Act, 1988 decide the termination cases and the claims pertaining to wages. The Certifying Officers under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 certify the draft standing orders which define the conditions of employment.

5. Registration and Renewals: The officers of the Labour Department are also notified as Registering Authorities to carry out the function of registration of Shops & Establishments under Andhra Pradesh Shops Establishments Act.1988, Motor Transport Undertakings under Motor Transport Workers Act.1961, establishments of principal employers under Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act.1970, the Inter-State migrant Workmen (Regulation of employment and conditions of Service) Act,1979, establishments under Building and Other Construction Workers(Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act,1996 and Trade unions under Trade Unions Act, 1926. The officers are also notified as Licencing Authorities under Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment ) Act.1966, Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970 and the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of employment and conditions of Service) Act,1979

6. Welfare of Labour: A fund was constituted under the A.P. Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1987 to promote welfare of labour. The A.P. Labour Welfare Board was established for the purpose of administering the fund. It formulates and implements various schemes for the welfare of employees working in Shops & Establishments, Motor Transport Undertakings, Factories, Societies and Trusts. The welfare schemes provide for payment of scholarships to the children of the workmen, medical-aid assistance to workers suffering from chronic diseases, economic relief in certain cases, funeral expenses, marriage gifts etc. The A.P. Labour Welfare Fund is utilized by the Board to defray the expenditure on labour welfare centres, games and sports, reading rooms and libraries, community necessities, vocational training, medical aid to employees for specialized treatment etc.

Notes Prepared by:

RAJESH KANTUBHUKTA
HUMAN RESOURCES