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Welfare and Health of Contract Labor

In: Social Issues

Submitted By rahul15may
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WELFARE AND HEALTH OF CONTRACT LABOUR
Legal issue and the nature of Legal issue
Establishments may face legal issues if its employees or labors or people working for their cause are not provided with the welfare and health benefits. The facilities of sufficient supply of wholesome drinking water, a sufficient number of latrines and urinals, washing facilities and first-aid facilities shall be provided by the contractor. If any of the above facilities is not provided by the contractor within the period prescribed the same shall be provided by the principal employer.
Legislations involved in the legal issue
Contract Labor (Regulation and Abolition) Act includes the details of various welfare and health facilities that should be provided to the labor in the chapter V. In the various sections and subsections, it is clearly defined the facilities like canteen, restroom that should be provided to the labor and also its quality is defined. It says that the facilities should be provided by the contractor and in case the contractor is not able to provide the same due to any reason it should be the duty of principal to provide the same. All expenses incurred by the principal employer in providing the amenity may be recovered by the principal employer from the contractor either by deduction from any amount payable to the contractor under any contract or as a debt payable by the contractor.
The parties involved in the legal issue
The details of the various parties involved in the legal issue are as follows: * Contract Labor: a workman shall be deemed to be employed as "contract labor" in or in connection with the work of an establishment when he is hired in or in connection with such work by or through a contractor, with or without the knowledge of the principal employer. * Principal Employer: (i) in relation to any office or department of the Government or a local authority, the head of that office or department or such other officer as the Government or the local authority, as the case may be, may specify in this behalf, (ii) in a factory, the owner or occupier of the factory and where a person has been named as the manager of the factory under the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948) the person so named, (iii) in a mine, the owner or agent of the mine and where a person has been named as the manager of the mine, the person so named, (iv) in any other establishment, any person responsible for the supervision and control of the establishment. * Contractor: in relation to an establishment, means a person who undertakes to produce a given result for the establishment, other than a mere supply of goods of articles of manufacture to such establishment, through contract labor or who supplies contract labor for any work of the establishment and includes a sub-contractor;
The probable impact of this legal issue on the business, had it not been addressed appropriately in a timely manner
There are serious consequences of not following labor laws – the most major being the kind of harassment that leads to loss of productive hours and mental peace of senior managers and owners. If the welfare and health are not addressed properly for the contract labor, it could lead to severe strikes, cases being registered with the state or central authority and ultimately could also lead to the shutdown of the establishment.
Whoever contravenes any provision of the Contract Labor Act or of any rules made thereunder prohibiting, restricting or regulating the employment of contract labor, or contravenes any condition of a license granted under this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both, and in the case of a continuing contravention with an additional fine which may extend to one hundred rupees for every day during which such contravention continues after conviction for the first such contravention.
Measures taken by the businesses in addressing this legal issue
Following measures are taken by businesses to address this legal issue: * Know the central as well as the state adaptation of the law as applicable. * Maintain Registers and records and a collection of statistics to provide as evidence. * Maintain relationship with trusted contractors who have a good name in society. * Try and provide the same welfare and health facilities to the contract labor as to its employees. * Provide canteens, restrooms, toilets and first aid facilities as per the act maintaining the qualities of each if not provided by the contractor. * If and when the issues arises try to contain it by not involving all the contract labor. * Take legal assistance to check if the functioning is law compliant.
Parties involved in solving this legal issue
Apart from the principal, contractor and the labors there are other parties involved in solving this legal issue. The central and the state governments have advisory boards to advise the governments in related matters. The advisory boards also have the power to create committees to resolve certain issues. The other parties that may be involved if the dispute is still not resolved are the lawyers, tribunal and courts.
Kind and nature of legal assistance sought to address the issue
The principal establishment may file a writ petition on the contractor if the contractor doesn’t pay for the facilities provided to its workers. On the other hand they may file an affidavit as well if required if the case is against them. They may use the legal assistance of the lawyers as to address the issue.
Impact on the business due to the measures so taken
The measures does employed would be helpful for the smooth relationship between the contactor, principal establishment and the labors. In and Indian scenario, where the Business owner or the Director of the company is personally and criminally liable, the measures taken in addressing the legal issues should not be undermined. It is sought that the establishments work under the directions of the Contract Labor (Regulation and Abolition) Act and the measures taken help in the smooth functioning of the business.

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