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Constitutional Protection And Labour Laws

Labor protection policies emerged in colonial India to meet the demand for cheap labor: after the abolition of slavery in 1833, the British colonies began to import Indian labor. The laws passed by the British government led to the development of the concept of labor welfare in colonial India. The Apprenticeship Act, enacted in 1850, aimed to make it easier for poor children and orphans to learn various trades by training them to become craftsmen.

The Fatal Accidents Act 1853 was designed to compensate the families of workers killed as a result of a "criminal wrong". The Factories Act of 1881 paved the way for the enactment of a series of labor laws aimed at improving the working conditions of workers. When the International Labor Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919, it recognized the importance of work in rebuilding the world's economy and society.

Definition Of Labour Welfare

The concept of employment benefits is a broad concept. It means a state of happiness, happiness, contentment, conservation and development of human resources. The Labor Welfare Board stated in 1969, "Labor welfare includes services such as facilities and amenities such as adequate canteens, rest and leisure facilities, health and medical facilities, organization of travel to and from work and accommodation of employed workers." with their homes and proximity to other services, amenities and facilities that help improve workers' working conditions.

Labour Rights And Indian Constitution

  • The Constitution of India provides several guarantees for the protection of labor rights. These guarantees exist in fundamental rights and in the guiding principles of state policy.
  • Articles 14, 19, 21, 23, and 24 cover the fundamental rights promised in Part III of the Constitution. Sections 38, 39, 39A, 41, 42, 43, 43A, and 47 form part of the Directive Principles of State Policy under Part IV of the Constitution but are not enforceable in court.
  • Articles 39, 39A, 41, 42, 43, and 43A may be collectively referred to as the "Magna Carta of the Indian Working Class".
  • Article 14 obligates the state to treat everyone equally before the law.
  • Section (19)(1)(c) gives citizens the right to form associations or trade unions.
  • Article 21 promises to protect life and personal liberty.
  • Article 23 prohibits forced labor.
  • Article 24 prohibits the employment of children under the age of fourteen.
  • Article 39(a) states that the state shall ensure to its citizens the equal right to an adequate livelihood.
  • Section 39A provides that the State shall ensure that its citizens have equal access to justice and shall ensure that such opportunity is not denied on the ground of financial or other disability.
  • Article 41 stipulates that the state protects labor rights and education rights within the scope of economic capabilities.
  • Section 42 directs the State to make arrangements to ensure fair and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
  • Article 43 requires the State to ensure, through legislation or economic organization, a living wage, decent working conditions, and social and cultural opportunities for all workers.
  • Section 43A provides for the participation of workers in industrial management through legislation.

Equal Pay For Equal Work And The Supreme Court Of India

Article 39(d) of the Constitution provides for the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. This principle was first considered in 1962 in the case of Kishori Mohanlal Bakshi v. Union of India. The Supreme Court subsequently ruled that it could not be enforced in court.

In 1982, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court in Randhir Singh v. Union of India observed:

The principle of 'equal pay for equal work', which means equal pay for everyone regardless of gender, has been removed from the preamble and Articles 14, 16 and 39 (d) of the Constitution. The principle of equal pay for equal work applies to the situation of unequal pay based on classification or arbitrary classification, but two groups of workers (each temporary and permanent) perform the same duties and responsibilities.

In DS Nakara v. Union of India (1983) where the subject matter was related to pension, not a wage, speaking through the constitutional bench of five judges, it observed that:

Article 38(1) enjoins the State to endeavor to promote the welfare of the people by securing and securing as effectively as possible a social order in which all institutions of justice-social, economic and political national life should be informed. In particular, the State shall strive to reduce inequality in income and eliminate inequality in status, facilities and opportunities. Art. 39 (d) enjoin the duty to see that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women and Randhir Singh Vs. This directive has to be understood and interpreted in the light of the judgment of this Court in Union of India (1982).

The jurisprudence developed from these two jurisprudence was recently confirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of State of Punjab v. India. Jagjit Singh (2016) wherein it is stated that casual employees (daily wage employees, temporary employees, contract employees etc.) are entitled to minimum regular wages along with allowances (as may be revised from time to time) for performing the same duties as those performed by regular employees in sanctioned posts same responsibilities.

  • P. Tyagi, "Labour Economics and Social Welfare", page no 601, 2004
  • Report of the Study Team Appointed by the Government of India 1969, opacity p.32

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Shreyash Gupta
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