Indian constitution and Labour Welfare

15/09/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Labour welfare activities arose in colonial India in reply to the need of cheap labours when; following the abolition of slavery in 1833, British colonies started importing Indian labours. British government passed legislations which led to the development of the concept of labour welfare in colonial India. The Apprentices Act of 1850 was passed with the objective of helping poor and orphan children to learn various trades by apprenticing them to craftsmen. The Fatal Accidents Act of 1853 aimed at providing compensation to the families of workmen who lost their lives as a result of an ‘‘actionable wrong.”

Part III of the Constitution of India is the benchmark for labor laws in India. Also, Part III (Article 12 to 35) of the Constitution covers the fundamental rights of its citizens which includes Equality before the law, Religion, Sex, caste, place of birth, the abolition of untouchability, freedom of speech and expression and prohibition of employment of children in factories.

Labour Rights and Indian Constitution

Indian constitution provides numerous safeguards for the protection of labour rights. These safeguards are in the form of fundamental rights and the Directive principle of State policy.

Articles 14,19,21,23 and 24 comprise of fundamental rights promised under part III of the Constitution. Articles 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 they are not enforceable in a court of law.

Article 39, 39A, 41, 42, 43 and 43A collectively can be termed “Magna Carta of working class in India.”

Article 14 commands State to treat any person equally before the law.

Article (19) (1) (c) grants citizens the right to form association or unions.

Article 21 promises protection of life and personal liberty.

Article 23 prohibits forced labour.

Article 24 prohibits employment of children below the age of fourteen years.

Article 39(a) provides that the State shall secure to its citizens equal right to an adequate means of livelihood.

Article 39A provides that the State shall secure the equal opportunities for access to justice to its citizens and ensure that such opportunities are not denied by reason of economic or other disabilities.

Article 41 provides that within the limits of its economic capacity the State shall secure for the Right to work and education.

Article 42 instructs State to make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.

Article 43 orders the State to secure a living wage, decent condition of work and social and cultural opportunities to all workers through legislation or economic organisation. And

Article 43A provides for the participation of workers in Management of Industries through legislation.

List of major Labor law Acts in India

  • The Minimum Wages Act, 1948
  • The Payment of Wages Act, 1936
  • The Trade Unions Act, 1926
  • The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
  • The Factories Act, 1948