EMPLOYMENT INJURY AND LABOUR LAWS IN INDIA

By: Vibhuti Rao, Law student, Symbiosis Law School, Noida

  1.  Introduction 

The corpus of laws, administrative judgements, and precedents that address the legal rights and limits of working people and their organisations is known as labour law. As a result, it serves as a go-between for trade unions, companies, and employees on a variety of issues. To put it another way, labour law establishes the rights and responsibilities of employees, union members, and employers in the workplace. Labour law is divided into two categories. To begin, collective labour law refers to the three-part relationship that exists between an employee, an employer, and a union. Individual labour law, on the other hand, is concerned with employees’ rights at work and through their employment contracts. Generally, labour law covers:  Industrial relations – certification of unions, labour-management relations, collective bargaining and unfair labour practices; Workplace health and safety; Employment standards, including general holidays, annual leave, working hours, unfair dismissals, minimum wage, layoff procedures and severance pay.

  1.  Meaning of ‘Employment Injury’ and its components

If an injury is sustained whether physical or mental by accident arising out of and in the course of employment the workman becomes entitles to compensation, provided the injury results in either death of the workman or it results into his partial or total disablement for a period exceeding 3 days.

The Act requires employers to compensate an employee who has suffered an accident while performing his/her duties during work hours, resulting into

  • Permanent total disability,
  • Permanent partial disability,
  • Temporary disability, or
  • Death.

According to ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), the contingencies covered under the employment injury benefit include the following accident-at-work or employment-related diseases:

  • sickness,
  • temporary incapacity for work resulting from such a condition,
  • total or partial loss of earning capacity, likely to be permanent, and
  • the loss of support suffered by dependents as the result of the death of the breadwinner.

The range of benefits required by Convention No. 102 includes

  • necessary medical care,
  • sickness benefit for the period of incapacity for work,
  • disability pension in case of loss of earning capacity, and
  • survivors’ pension in case of death of a breadwinner.

However, those benefits are only one, if the most visible, of the facets of employment injury protection.

  1.  Workplace and injury compensation in India 

There is a key provision in Labour laws of the Indian subcontinent that seek protection for the injured workers and worker compensation. Such cases arise in particular with large labour forces or industrial companies but at the same time, small businesses are also impacted by labour laws that govern and mandate compensation schemes and practices for employees injured on the job.

Compensation awarded for injured workers in India varies depending on the size of the company. The Employees’ State Insurance Act of 1948 applies if the company has more than 20 employees. Employees and the corporation both contribute to an insurance benefit in the event of an injury under this act. When a worker gets wounded on the job, he or she is entitled to medical and financial assistance.

If the company employs fewer than 20 employees, the Employee’s Compensation Act of 1923 (formerly the Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1923) must be used. This statute lays out the procedures for compensating employees who are injured on the job. Small office spaces and small-scale manufacturing companies are particularly affected by the Act.

The Employees Compensation Act, 1923, was amended in 2017 to make it mandatory for employers/companies to notify their employees of their rights to compensation under the Act, either in paper or electronically, in a language that the employee understands. If the employer fails to do so, he or she faces a penalty of INR 50,000, which can be increased to INR 100,000.

  1.  Purpose of Labour legislation

Legislation of labour that evolves to fit and get customised to the social and economic challenges of the modern world of working lives up to the following important roles: it builds up an overall set of laws that works with useful individual and aggregate business connections, and consequently a useful economy; by giving a structure inside which managers, laborers, and their agents can connect concerning business related issues, it fills in as a significant vehicle for accomplishing amicable modern relations dependent on working environment vote based system; it gives a reasonable and steady update and assurance of central standards and rights at work which have gotten expansive social acknowledgment and build up the cycles through which these standards and rights can be executed and authorized.

Exposure shows that work enactment can possibly satisfies these capacities successfully in case it is receptive to the conditions on the work market and the necessities of the gatherings in question. The most a productive method of guaranteeing that these conditions and needs are considered completely is if those concerned are firmly associated with the plan of the enactment through cycles of social discourse. The association of partners in this manner is critical in fostering an expansive premise of help for work enactment and in working with its application inside and past the formal organized areas of the economy.

  1.  Legal provisions and case law on employment laws in India 

It builds up a general set of laws that works with useful individual and aggregate business connections, and thusly a useful economy; by giving a system inside which bosses, laborers, and their delegates can collaborate as to business related issues, it fills in as a significant vehicle for accomplishing amicable mechanical relations dependent on work environment majority rule government; it gives a reasonable and consistent update and assurance of essential standards and rights at work which have gotten wide friendly acknowledgment and sets up the cycles through which these standards and rights can be executed and implemented. Some crucial legislations are as follows:

  1. The Factories Act, 1948 –

It was set up to protect and defend the rights and interests of the workers to secure workers and prevent exploitation of any kind against them performed by factory owners. 

  1. The employees Provident Fund Act, 1947 –

It was applicable on every worker and provides welfare ensuring schemes such as medical care, housing, education of benefits, retirement pension and financing insurance policy, etc. 

  1. The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 –

This act is of a great benefit for the expecting mother or woman. This demonstration intends to defend the pride of parenthood by giving instalment to the total consideration of the lady and her kid at the hour of maternity when she is off on leave or when she isn’t working.

  1. The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 –

It is one of its sorts that is useful for the individual harmed in a mishap. The Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923, expects to give monetary assurance to the specialists just as their wards as pay, on account of incidental injury.

  1. The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 – 

It ensures that proper procedures are followed and no action is taken in the fit of a moment in an arbitrary manner. 6 weeks’ notice clauses for laying off is also mentioned in this legislation. 

Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board v. A Rajappa AIR 1978, 1978 AIR 548, 1978 SCR (3) 207

For this situation, the question was between the appellants Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board, its administration, and the respondent’s workers. For some sort of wrongdoing, the board had collected a fine over the workers and recuperated the cash from them. The respondents moved toward the work court against a fine under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 claiming that such inconvenience of a fine was contrary to the standard of regular equity.

  1.  Women labour and the law

Ladies are known to deal with ranches, in street and lodging development, and of late, in processing plants producing articles of clothing and electronic get together plants. Talented ladies’ laborers likewise have been working in customary town enterprises either as independently employed or as paid specialists. Female laborers during the most recent forty years have dramatically increased from 40 million to 90 million. Ladies establish a huge piece of the labour force in India however they fall behind men as far as work investment and nature of business. As indicated by Government sources, out of 407 million absolute labour force, 90 million are ladies’ laborers, to a great extent utilized (around 87%) in the agrarian area as workers and cultivators.

Women have come from dire circumstances with a society, families and rigid mentality against them leaving the threshold of their households, they have come a long way and yet there are changes to be made and laws to be modified to make the field more level playing!

  1.  Evolution 

The law identifying with work and business is otherwise called Industrial law in India. The historical backdrop of work enactment in India is entwined with the historical backdrop of British expansionism. The modern/work enactments sanctioned by the British were essentially planned to secure the interests of the British managers. Contemplations of British political economy was normally fundamental in moulding a portion of these early laws. Subsequently came the Factories Act. It is notable that Indian material products offered hardened contest to British materials in the fare market and subsequently to make India work costlier. In this manner, India got the primary specification of eight hours of work, the abrogation of kid work, and the limitation of ladies in night business, and the presentation of additional time compensation for work past eight hours. While the effect of this action was plainly welfarist the genuine inspiration was without a doubt protectionist.

Four new codes on industrial relations, wages, social security and occupational health safety and working conditions have been released by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. This crucial step shall rationalise 44 central labour laws and make them more comprehensive yet accessible. Working hours shall increase from 9 to 12 hours, allowances have been capped at 50 per cent, Provident fund (PF) contribution is calculated as a percentage of basic wage, which includes basic pay and dearness allowance and the in-hand salary will see a significant change.  

  1.  Conclusion 

Labour laws in India are enacted both by the Central and State Governments with some overlap taking place between the two in implementation. India’s labour laws have grown and evolved over time with changing needs in the society with respect to working culture and requirements. New labour codes have further been enacted to simplify, restructure and modernise the present regime and increase the ease of doing business in India. As a country of dedicated workers at every level, there is humungous potential, the right laws simply ought to hone it further and protect their interests.

References

Employment Laws in India: Changes Brought about by the New Labour Codes – Employment and HR – India” (http://www.mondaq.com) <https://www.mondaq.com/india/employee-benefits-compensation/1098964/employment-laws-in-india-changes-brought-about-by-the-new-labour-codes> accessed August 26, 2021.

Akash Shah, “Workplace Injury Compensation in India – What Businesses Need to Know – Employment and HR – India” (http://www.mondaq.comMay 13, 2019) <https://www.mondaq.com/india/employee-benefits-compensation/805084/workplace-injury-compensation-in-india-what-businesses-need-to-know> accessed August 26, 2021.

“Components of Employment Injury Benefit” (Ilo.orgApril 3, 2018) <https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/geip/WCMS_624797/lang–en/index.htm>.

 Diva Rai, “Employees Compensation Act, 1923 : Overview and Analysis” (iPleadersNovember 21, 2019) <https://blog.ipleaders.in/employees-compensation-act-1923-amazing-facts-to-know-about-it/>.

 “What Are the 10 Labour Laws That Every Employee Must Know?” (blog.finology.in) <https://blog.finology.in/Legal-news/labour-laws-that-every-employee-must-know#:~:text=Top%2010%20labour%20laws%20for> accessed August 26, 2021.

ICLG, “Gambling Singapore Chapter” [2019] Gambling 2019 | Laws and Regulations | Singapore | ICLG <https://iclg.com/practice-areas/gambling-laws-and-regulations/singapore>.

Ayshee Bhadhuri, “New Labour Rules with Change in Work Hours, Pay to Come into Effect from Oct 1?” (Hindustan TimesAugust 24, 2021) <https://www.hindustantimes.com/business/new-labour-rules-with-change-in-work-hours-pay-to-come-into-effect-from-oct-1-101629789117887.html> accessed August 26, 2021.

“Labour Law Reforms | Ministry of Labour & Employment” (Labour.gov.in2018) <https://labour.gov.in/labour-law-reforms>.

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