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Labour Law Compliance in India

Updated on: Jan 10th, 2022


7 min read

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 major acts included in the industrial law compliance rules are:


Applicable to


Other Comments

Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996

It is applicable in organisations where 10 or more workers are employed directly by the contractor in a construction site. 

The purpose of the Act is to collect cess from the construction work and use it for the welfare of the workers on the site.

This act does not apply to building and construction sites where the Factories Act, 1948, or Mines Act, 1952 applies. 

Contract Labour Act, 1970

-If the organisation has 20 or more workers employed in the past 12 months as contract labour

-To  every contractor who has employed 20 or more than 20 workers in the past 12 months

The purpose is to control the working conditions of contract labour

It does not apply to workplaces where the nature of work is casual.

Only an organisation registered under this Act can contract labour.

Minimum Wages Act, 1948

-It applies to entire India 

-It applies to any employment if it has employed 1000 employees in the respective state

-To give minimum wages to the workers in the organized sector

-To empower the government to take steps for fixing minimum wages and to revise wages within 5 years.

It does not apply to any employees in any undertaking owned by the Central Government or of the federal railway, except with the consent of the Central Government.

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.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are solely for information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is created when you access or use the site or the materials. The information presented on this site does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.

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Quick Summary

Labour laws protect the rights of the workforce and regulate companies, workers, and trade unions. Non-compliance can lead to penalties. The Indian Labour Laws cover various acts for different sectors. A new Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions has been introduced, consolidating 29 labour laws into four codes to streamline registration and compliance processes for organizations.

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