Labour welfare activities in our country were mainly a product of the stresses and strains during the First World War (1914-1919). Before this period there were only isolated instances of labour welfare work, mostly by outside agencies on humanitarian ground. In the post war period, the industrial expansion and the process of large scale production led to the rise of the working class as a source of power.
During the Second World War (1939-45) the movement of labour welfare received further impetus. The Factories Act was enacted in 1934. It was for the first time that provision of certain welfare amenities inside the factory was made statutory. After the Second World War, both the Central and the Provincial Governments showed a keen interest in undertaking welfare measures for the workers.
But the employers were not interested in providing such facilities. The Government also appointed Welfare Officers to persuade the employers to improve the welfare schemes. However, there was no significant change in their attitude. Therefore, in 1946, the programme for labour suggested a through overhauling of legislative measures to promote labour welfare.
In 1947 the Factories Act was amended in an extensive manner. After independence the First Plan laid more emphasis on effective implementation of various statutory provisions. The same policy was continued during the Second Plan Period also. A committee was also appointed by the Central Government to draw up a code of efficiency and welfare.
The code as drafted by the committee was extensively discussed in the Indian Labour Conference and National Productivity Council. But the code was not implemented. However some of the elements of the code were subsequently included in the Industrial Truce Resolution of 1962. In the subsequent plans also, the propositions made in the earlier plans were reiterated.