Labour Legislation Growth and Development

Five Stages
‡ The beginning of modern labour laws:1830-1918. ‡ Between the two World Wars:1919-1942. ‡ Prior to independence:1942-1947. ‡ Post-Independence:1947-1975. ‡ Post-Emergency:1975 onwards«..

‡ Need to regulate the recruitment to various British colonies. 1. Laissez faire doctrine. 2. Criminal penalties for breach of contract. 3. Regulate the supply of labour to Assam Tea Gardens. 4. Far from protecting the interests of labour.

‡ Towards the close of 19th century, efforts were made to correct more serious abuses of workers. ‡ Factories Act,1881-limitation on working hours of women and children. ‡ Mines Act,1901-securing safe working conditions. ‡ Factory Labour Commission-1907. ‡ Special Factories Act,1911-statutory limitation on working hours of men (only for textile factories). ‡ Labour Legislation was haphazard and tardy.

Wartime Legislation(1919-1942)
‡ Montague-Chelmsford Reforms. ‡ Indians in the central legislature and government. ‡ Rise of trade union movement-All India Trade Union Congress(1919). ‡ Birth of ILO-established by Peace Treaty of 1919. ‡ National Struggle for Independence-under the leadership of Indian National Congress.

‡ Amendment to the Factories Act of 19111. reduce the hours of work to 11hours a day and 60 a week. 2. Payment for overtime work, at the rate of 1.25times more. 3. Raise the min. age of employment of children from 9 to 12 years and reduce hours of work to 6 hours,


Indian Mines Act-19231. 60 a week (surface), and 54 (underground) hours of work. 2. Weekly holiday. 3. Min. age of employment 12 years

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ The Workmen¶s Compensation Act 1923,1926,1929. Workmen¶s Compensation (Occupational Diseases)Convention,1925. Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation)Convention,1925. Trade Disputes Act,1929. The Indian Trade Union Act,1926 etc.

‡ Royal Commission on Labour in 1929, made a series of recommendations on all aspects of labour problems. ‡ Provincial Labour Laws provided for maternity benefits. ‡ Government of India Act, 1935-central, provincial and concurrent. ‡ Labour Ministers Conference in 1940,1941,1942. ‡ Tripartite Labour Conferences in 1942. ‡ Advisory bodies expected to increase efficiency and utility.

Labour Legislation between 1942-1947
‡ ‡ ‡ Factories Act-48 hours a week, annual holidays, canteen facilities. Industrial Disputes Act,1947-investigation and peaceful settlement of industrial disputes. Framing of the Constitution of India1. Labour welfare and industrial disputes were in the Concurrent List. 2. Airways, railways, banking, insurance, industries etc were in the Union List.

Post Independence 1947-1975
Divided into these categories: ‡ Working conditions, safety, hygiene and welfare. ‡ Wages. ‡ Industrial Relations. ‡ Trade Unionism. ‡ Social Security. ‡ Welfare outside the works. ‡ Employment and unemployment. ‡ Industrial housing. ‡ Miscellaneous problems.

‡ National Commission on Labour, 1966:
1. Chairmanship of Dr. P. B. Gajendragadkar, 2. membership of representatives of employers, trade unions and independent persons.


dealt with matters relating to:
1. Existing conditions of labour, 2. Review of existing provisions intended to protect the interests of labour. 3. Achieving planned economic development.


Report submitted in 1969.

Legislative Regulation of employment terms
‡ Enactment of min. standards and regulation of employment terms and conditions for specific industries: mines, factories, agriculture, transport etc. ‡ Regulation and prescription of min. norms in respect of specific industrial matters: wages, social security etc. ‡ Prescription of employment conditions for substandard or weaker groups of society: women, children etc.

Post Emergency1975«.
‡ Anti-inflationary laws were enacted to free the low-earning industrial workers from debts and security for service:
1. Payment of Bonus Act,1975 2. Additional Emoluments (Compulsory Deposit) Amendment Act,1976 3. Equal Remuneration ordinance

‡ Need to review the whole of labour legislations to meet the present day requirements. ‡ Need to diagnose the real causes for industrial disputes. ‡ Urgent and imminent need to simplify the labour legislation. ‡ Collective Bargaining as the best method of settlement of industrial disputes has not been dealt adequately.

‡ The problems of this age are varied. ‡ Little is done to remove the ambiguity in laws. ‡ Rural labour, urban unorganised labour, tribal forest and SC labour need attention. ‡ Need for protection of small industries.