The Minimum Wages Act, 1948

Introduction:

Wages means all remuneration capable of being expressed in terms of money, which Would, if the terms of contract of employment, express or implied, were fulfilled, be payable to a person employed in respect of his employment or of work done in such. Employment it includes house rent allowance but does not include the value of any house accommodation, supply or light, water, medical attendance or other amenity or service excluded by general or special order of appropriate Government; contribution paid by the employer to Pension/ Provident Fund or under scheme of social insurance; traveling allowance or value of traveling concession; sum paid to the person employed to defray special expenses entailed on him by the nature of his employment; or any gratuity payable on discharge.

As of now there is no uniform and comprehensive wage policy for all sectors of the economy in India. Wages in the organized sector are determined through negotiations and settlements between employer and employees. In unorganized sector, where labor is vulnerable to exploitation, due to illiteracy and having no effective bargaining power, minimum rates of wages are fixed/ revised both by Central and State Governments in the scheduled employments falling under their respective jurisdictions under the revisions of the Minimum Wages Act,1948.

The concept of Minimum Wages was first Evolved by ILO in 1928 with reference to Remuneration of workers in those industries Where the, level of wages was substantially Low and the labor was vulnerable to Exploitation, being not well organized and Having less effective bargaining power.… Read the rest

The Mines Act 1952

The mines act, 1952 which was enacted to amend and consolidate the law relating to the regulation of Lob our and safety in mines came into force with effect from July 1, 1952. The act extends to whole of India and it aims at providing for safe as well as proper working conditions in mines and certain amenities to the workers employed therein.

For the purpose of the act, a mines means any excavation where any operation for the purpose of searching for or obtaining minerals has been or is being carried on and includes, i) all borings, bore holes and oil wells. ii) All shafts, in or adjacent to and belonging to a mine whether in the course of being sunk or not. iii) all power stations for supply electricity solely for the purpose of working the mine or a number of mines under the same management; iv)  conveyors or serial ropeways provided for the bringing into removal from a mine of minerals or other articles or for the removal of refuse there from; v) unless exempted by the central Government by the notification in the official gazette, any premises or part thereof, or adjacent to and belonging to a mine on which any process ancillary to the getting, dressing or preparation for sale of minerals or of coke is carried.

The provisions of  the act, except those relating to powers of inspectors/other authorized persons, facilities to afforded to such persons, working hours for adolescents and employment of children and women do not apply to; (a) any mime or part thereof in excavation is being made for prospecting purposes only and not for the  purpose of obtaining minerals for use or sale provided that not more than 20 persons are employed on one day, the depth of the excavation for coal,15 meters, and no part of such excavation extends below superjacent ground; and  (b) any mine engaged in the extraction of  kankar, Murrum, laterite boulder, gravel shingle, ordinary sand ( excluding moulding sand, glass-sand).… Read the rest

Factories Act 1948

Factory Act 1948

1.      Government regulation o the working condition in factories begins in India in 1881 when the first Indian factories Act was passed.

2.      This act was substantially amended in 1934 on the basis ob the recommendations of the Royal commission on labour.

3.      The act of 1934 dividend factories into two categories-seasonal and perennial.

4.      This act was amended several times.

5.      On the eve of independence the national government announced far reaching legislative program for the welfare of workers.

6.      As a part of this program, the factories act 1948 was passed.

7.      The factories act 1948 is comprehensive in nature and through it the government has tried to implement as many provisions of the ILO code of industrial hygiene as were practicable under Indian conditions.

8.      The factories act was substantially amended in 1976.

9.      Since then there has been substantial modernization and innovation in the industrial field.

10.  Provisions have also been made for the workers participation in safety management.

Objectives:

The main objective of the factories act is to regulate conditions of work in manufacturing establishing and to ensure adequate safety sanitation, health, working hours, leave with wages and weekly holidays for workers employed in such establishment.

  • The act is a protective legislation.  It also regulates employment of women and young persons in factories.
  • The factories ac 1948 came into force on April 1st, 1948.  It applies to factories all over India.
  • Unless otherwise stated this act shall apply to factories belonging to central and state governments.
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The Consumer Protection Act, 1986

The consumer protection Act, 1986 is a milestone in the history of socio-economic legislation in the country. It is one of the most progressive and comprehensive pieces of legislations enacted for the protection of consumers. It was enacted after in-depth study of consumer protection laws in a number of countries and in consultation with representatives of consumers, trade and industry and extensive discussions within the Government.

The main objective of the act is to provide for the better protection of consumers. Unlike existing laws, which are punitive or preventive in nature, the provisions of this Act are compensatory in nature. The act is intended to provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal to the consumers’ grievances, and relief’s of a specific nature and award of compensation wherever appropriate to the consumer. The act has been amended in 1993 both to extend its coverage and scope and to enhance the powers of the redressal machinery.

The salient features of the Act are summed up as under:

  • The Act applies to all goods and services unless specifically exempted by the Central Government.
  • It covers all the sectors whether private, public or cooperative.
  • The provisions of the Act are compensatory in nature.

It enshrines the following rights of consumers:

  • Right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services, which are hazardous to life and property.
  • Right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices;
  • Right to be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices;
  • Right to be heard and to be assured that consumers’ interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums;
  • Right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices unscrupulous exploitation of consumers; and
  • Right to consumer education
  • The Act envisages establishment of Consumer Protection Councils at the Central and State levels, whose main objects will be to promote and protect the rights of the consumers.
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Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006

An Act to provide for facilitating the promotion and development and enhancing the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Whereas a declaration as to expediency of control of certain industries by the Union was made under section 2 of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951; And whereas it is expedient to provide for facilitating the promotion and development and enhancing the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto; Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:

1. Short title and commencement.

(1) This Act may be called the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006.

(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

2. Definitions.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,

(a) “Advisory Committee” means the committee constituted by the Central Government under sub-section (2) of section 7; (b) “appointed day” means the day following immediately after the expiry of the period of fifteen days from the day of acceptance or the day of deemed acceptance of any goods or any services by a buyer from a supplier.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this clause,— (i) “the day of acceptance” means,— (a) the day of the actual delivery of goods or the rendering of services; or (b) where any objection is made in writing by the buyer regarding acceptance of goods or services within fifteen days from the day of the delivery of goods or the rendering of services, the day on which such objection is removed by the supplier; (ii) “the day of deemed acceptance” means, where no objection is made in writing by the buyer regarding acceptance of goods or services within fifteen days from the day of the delivery of goods or the rendering of services, the day of the actual delivery of goods or the rendering of services; (c) “Board” means the National Board for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises established under section 3; (d ) “buyer” means whoever buys any goods or receives any services from a supplier for consideration; (e) “enterprise” means an industrial undertaking or a business concern or any other establishment, by whatever name called, engaged in the manufacture or production of goods, in any manner, pertaining to any industry specified in the First Schedule to the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 or engaged in providing or rendering of any service or services; (f) “goods” means every kind of movable property other than actionable claims and money;

  • medium enterprise” means an enterprise classified as such under sub-clause
  • micro enterprise” means an enterprise classified as such under sub-clause
  • small enterprise” means an enterprise classified as such under sub-clause

3.Establishment of Board.-

(1) With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint, there shall be established, for the purposes of this Act, a Board to be known as the National Board for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.… Read the rest

Statutory Measures for Employee Protection and Welfare in India

The preamble to our Indian Constitution promises justice – social, economic and political. It also stresses Equality of status and of opportunity. Article 23 of the Constitution prohibits traffic in human beings and forced labour. Article 24 prohibits employment of children in factories. The article 38 and 39 spelt under Directive Principles of State Policy are now enforceable as per the dictums laid by our Supreme Court.

Constitution of India, Article 38: State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people:

  • The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life.
  • The State shall, in particular, strive to minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.

Constitution of India, Article 39: Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State. –

The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing –

  • That the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means to livelihood;
  • That the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to sub serve the common good;
  • That the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment ;
  • That there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
  • That the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength
  • That children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
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