Labour Law


Labour laws are a set of compliances that set the tone for the treatment of the labour force in the workplace. Labour is the greatest asset for an organisation and to ensure that their rights are protected and to safeguard them against any exploitation, labour laws are enforced. It regulates the companies, workers, and trade unions. Non-compliance with the laws can lead to punitive action towards the organisation.

Labour Laws are imposed by the State as well as the Central Government. The labour law compliances are not just restricted to filing returns, but these records serve as evidence for the compliance of the laws and must be produced to the authorities in case of any discrepancies. There are laws that are enforceable only for certain work environments. And there are some laws that are enforceable to all organisations.

The list of labour laws in India are as follows:

  • Trade Unions Act, 1926

  • Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946

  • Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

  • Payment of Wages Act, 1936

  • Payment of Bonus Act, 1965

  • Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act, 1958

  • Factories Act, 1948

  • Plantations Labor Act, 1951

  • Mines Act, 1952

  • Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976

  • Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Services) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955

  • Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979

  • Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986

  • Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996

  • Cine-workers and Cinema Theatre Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1981

  • Dangerous Machines (Regulation) Act, 1983

  • Merchant Shipping Act, 1958

  • Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961

  • Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966

  • Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957

  • Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005

  • Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1948

  • Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) (Inapplicability to Major Ports) Act, 1997

  • Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993

  • Maternity Benefit Act, 1961

  • Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

  • Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1976

  • Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

  • Apprentices Act, 1961

  • Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959

  • Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923

  • Employees State Insurance Act, 1948

  • Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952

  • Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972

  • Employer’s Liability Act, 1938

  • Fatal Accidents Act, 1855

  • Limestone and Dolomite Labor Welfare Fund Act, 1972

  • Mica Mines Labor Welfare Fund Act, 1946

  • Iron Ore Mines, Manganese Ore Mines, and Chrome Ore Mines Labor Welfare (Cess) Act, 1976

  • Iron Ore Mines, Manganese Ore Mines, and Chrome Ore Mines Labor Welfare Fund Act, 1976

  • Personal Injuries (Compensation Insurance) Act, 1963

  • Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1962

  • Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008

  • Beedi Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1976

  • Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1976

  • Cine Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1981

  • Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981

As it is evident every law serves a certain purpose and hence all labour laws are employment-based and some are establishments based. In the event of non-compliance, an organisation will be subject to fines, penalties, lawsuit, loss of credibility, loss of contract, and maybe even closure of the business. The Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSHW), 2020, has been introduced by the Labour and Employment Ministry and has proposed one license, one registration, and one return for establishments for Indian companies. The Proposed bill suggests consolidating 13 Labour laws easing out the registration and compliance process for organisations. The Rajya Sabha in September, 2020 passed the bill and 29 labour laws are consolidated in four labour codes of Industrial Relations Code 2020, Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code 2020, Social Security Code 2020 and Wage Code 2020.