Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act ,1970

The Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act aims at regulating employment of contract labour so as to place it at par with labour employed directly, with regard to the working conditions and certain other benefits. Contract labour refers to the workers engaged by a contractor for the user enterprises. These workers are generally engaged in agricultural operations, plantation, construction industry, ports & docks, oil fields, factories, railways, shipping, airlines, road transport, etc.
The Act applies to every establishment/ contractor in which twenty or more workmen are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months as contract labour. Every establishment and contractor, to whom the Act applies, have to register themselves or obtain a license for execution of the contract work.
The interests of contract workers are protected in terms of wages, hours of work, welfare, health and social security. The amenities to be provided to contract labour include canteen, rest rooms, first aid facilities and other basic necessities at the work place like drinking water etc. The liability to ensure payment of wages and other benefits is primarily that of the contractor, and in case of default, that of the principal employer.
The Act is implemented both by the Centre and the State Governments. The Central Government has jurisdiction over establishments like railways, banks, mines etc. and the State Governments have jurisdiction over units located in that state. In the Central sphere, the Central Industrial Relations Machinery (CIRM)headed by Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) and his officers have been entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder.

Apart from the regulatory measures provided under the Act for the benefit of the contract labour, the 'appropriate government' under the Act is authorised, as the case may be, to prohibit, by notification in the official gazette, employment of contract labour in any establishment in any process, operation or other work.