Split Legal Regime in India’s Labour Laws

Labour law or Employment law states how the relationship should be between the worker and the working organization. It consists of all the rights of labour who are working under an individual or under an employing entity.

In India labour law regulation acts were introduced at the time of British colonial rule. The acts which were under regulation at that time are:

But these acts were designed by the British rulers they were created in the favour of then employing organizations who had a good relationship with the rulers. So the labour sought better and worker friendly laws which support labour rights. The workers went on labour strikes very frequently in order to achieve their rights in the form of Labour laws.

In 1947 after many struggles India had got its independence, a new labour law was introduced in the Constitution of India which came into enforcement from 1950. In the constitution of India the labour rights were included directly in the articles 14-16, 19(1)(c), 23-24, 38, and 41-43A respectively.

Over fifty national laws are being enforced in India. In addition to them many state-level laws govern work in India. So for instance, In order to terminate a permanent worker, one must prove misconduct or habitual absence of the worker

Labour rights in constitution

Article 14 states about the equality of all the workers in front of the law, Article 15 says that discrimination against the citizens is an offense and the article 16 states about the right of having equal oppertunities for employment or appointment in the state.

Article 19(1)(c) states that everyone has a right to form associations or unions. Article 23 says that trafficking and forcing labour to work is an offense, while article 24 prohibits child labour which includes that child below 14 years of age should not be included in risky and dangerous jobs.

Articles 38(1),(2) promote the welfare of people and reduce the inequality of income. Article 43(A) introduced through the 42nd amendment  which secures the participation of workers in the management of undertakings.

Article 41 states about right to work, which the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 puts into practice. Article 42 goes on to “make provision for securing just and human conditions of work and for maternity relief”. Article 43 says that workers should have the right to a living wage and condition of work which ensures a decent standard of life.

For women workers in labour law

Against Gender discrimination: Article 39(d) of the Constitution states that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work.

For women labour welfare, certain laws were also passed “Equal pay for equal work” is one of them, which states that women also should get paid the same wage as men get for the same work.  They were also got benefitted with the acts against sexual harassment at workplace in the constitution. According to Maternity benefit act, a pregnant employee can get 90 days of paid leave. Earlier women workers used to lose their jobs because of pregnancy.

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