Labor Administration

Labor administration is not simply the responsibility of the department of labor. Many international agencies and Government departments such as chambers of commerce, factory and mines inspectorate, social insurance directorate, and department of human resource development and education are involved in it. In some countries, the organizations of employers and workers are also involved in the administration of labor matters. But it is primarily the responsibility of the department of labor of lay down, develop and apply sound labor policies, coordinate various recommendations received from various departments which have a bearing on labor affairs. Formulation of policy decision are based on consultation with other interests (particularly of Employers and workers organizations) and of research and field investigation. Most of the labor policy proposals may emanate from the minister of labor himself or from his department. The department of labor is the body which receives most such proposals and initiates the preparatory process. In some cases, labor courts, arbitration bodies and different adhoc commissions can be regarded as forming part of the labor administration machinery, though they are usually outside of the department of labor.

Most of the work done in department of labor is either professional or technical. The meeting of experts on labor administration viewed that labor administration officials in particular services should have the basic academic qualifications required for such services (especially in law, economics, sociology, administrative sciences, psychology, statistics, actuarial sciences, medicine, engineering and so forth). The exact qualifications required for each post can be determined by the government of each country.

It is a part of the job of labor administrator to give effect to laws governing employment and conditions of work. Labor legislation is a necessary instrument for a governments administration of labor affairs. Standards established by legislation may be further developed, complemented or applied through administrative action. Legislation automatically entails the prescribing of procedures for enforcement and imposition of penalties. A system of law is a guarantee for peoples personal safety, liberties and right. To maintain respect for the law in general, the laws that are adopted must be strictly applied, without fear or favor. Labor administrators have a fundamental duty to uphold the rule of law at all times. To inculcate a respect for the law, they must also remember the old maxim that justice must not only be done, but must manifestly be seen to be done.

Labor law does not consist entirely of laws produces by law makers. Unwritten customary and case law deriving from generations of judicial practice also play a role, particularly with regard to contracts, torts and the right to receive compensation for damages. There are countries where the entire labor legislation has been codified covering entire gamut of labor laws and labor administration. The greater number of non-statutory legal requirements in the labor field are derived from the practice of industrial relations. A highly developed system of collective bargaining operated by strong organizations of employers and workers can cut out much of the need for subsidiary regulations. There are various ways in which collective agreements amplify the law and serve as an alternative to statutory rule making. Two basic principles governing such collective agreement are:(a)there should be no conflict between the agreement and the law;(b)better terms and conditions will prevail, i.e., an agreement may grant employees conditions more favorable than the minimum laid down by the law of the land.

It is a basic principle of modern law that, to be valid, a contract has to involve a consideration, i.e., something in return for the other party’s performance of the contract; this is usually wages rent or purchase price. There are various forms of contract of service, whether written or verbal.

In certain countries, collective agreements are contracts binding on the partied. They would not supersede the “contract of service” of employers and workers who were not parties to the agreement. However, in many countries the legislation now states that the terms of collective agreement with countries the legislation now states that the terms of collective agreements with unions that enjoy recognized bargaining status shall be deemed to be legally binding on all persons in the specified occupations in the industry or service for which can be enforced in the courts. Consequently in the later case, labour inspectors are also involved in enforcing these conditions just like the minimum conditions laid down by law.

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