Inadequacy of Labour Laws


This post has been written by Sukhleen Kaur Saluja, a 1st year Law student from Amity University, Chhattisgarh


Labour laws are also known as employment laws. A labour law defines the right the right and obligation as workers, generally labour laws cover:

  • Industrial relation, collective bargaining, unfair labour practice.
  • Work place and health safety.
  • Employment standard, working hours, general holidays.

There are broad categories of labour law:

  1. Collective Labour Law: which have relationship between employer, employee and union.
  2. Individual Labour Law: it concerns employee right at work and through contract for work.

Labour right have been integral to the social and economic development since industrial revolution.


Labour has a vital role in increasing productivity and management has to help to create condition in which workers can make their maximum contribution towards their objective.


  • Creating new jobs
  • Social security card for workers
  • Long term settlement based on productivity.
  • Modern medical facilities for worker.
  • Rehabilitation package for displaced workers.
  • Industrial relation committees in more sectors.
  • Reprioritization of allocation of funds to benefit vulnerable workers.
  • Child labour act to be aggressively enforced.


Labour right or the worker rights are a group of legal right and claimed human rights having to do with labour relations between worker and their employer usually employed under labour and employment law. Since 1979, when the Occupational Health and safety act came into law, amendments to the act have been introduced to establish new procedure as well as new rights and duties of the workers, employees in the workplace. The three basic employees’ rights are as:


The workers should know about the place where they have to work, with which kinds of equipments, materials, the environment and the process


Workers have right to ask question about issues concerning their health and safety and worker have right to be the part of process.


Workers have right to refuse if they came to know about the working environment, if it feel unsafe for work. This act includes detailed process for refusing unsafe work.


The term ‘labour’ means productive work especially physical work done by wage. The law relating to labour and employment in India is primarily known under the broad category of ‘Industrial Law’. The labour markets in India face many problems like:

  • Surplus Labour Force because a number of laborers are rendered surplus due to lack of adequate demand arising out of primary, secondary and tertiary sector.
  • Unskilled labour: This is another major problem of labour market in India is that there is a growing number of unskilled laboures in the country.
  • Imperfections: India labour market is suffering from imperfection as there is lack of adequate information regarding jobs, lack of suitable agency, lack of proper man power planning etc.
  • Work culture: Work culture in India is not at all good. Whatever work force is absorbed in various productive sectors is not adhered to healthy work.
  • Unemployment: Labour market is also facing a serious problem of unemployment. A huge number of work forces of our country remain partially or wholly unemployed throughout the year or some part of season.
Also Read:  The Epidemic Disease Act, 1897: Everything important you should know about the epidemics and the pandemics in Indian history.

So, these kinds of problems are being face by Indian labour market which is to be solved. There are many laws but still there is a need of more laws and when labors are hired they should give them full knowledge about each and everything, they should also tell the workers about the work environment so that whatever problem workers or employees are facing between the work it should not happen. When the workers or employees have knowledge about their rights and the laws which are made for them then only all these problem can be solve.

Under the constitution of India, Labour is a subject in the concurrent list where both central and state governments are competent to elect legislation. As a result, a large number of labour laws have been enacted catering to different aspects of labour namely, occupational, health, safety, fixation, review, revision of minimum wages contract labour, women and child labour, bonded labour and many more.


Past years back government has taken measures for labours in “The Wages Code” code has been enacted to with the express objective of simplifying the India law on minimum wages and to bring the worker of both organized and unorganized sectors within its purview.

Wages include salary, allowance, or any other component expressed in monetary terms. This does not include bonus payable to employees or travelling allowance, among others. It ensure that there will be no discrimination between men and women and even transgender in getting wages and according to this code, the central government will fix floor, taking into account living standard of workers.

But the code fails to provide real benefit to the workers. It provide that minimum wage is to be fixed with reference to the skill of worker required for working under the categories of unskilled, semi-skilled, highly-skilled and may consider “arduousness of work” performed.

Unlike even the Minimum Wage Act it does not make any provision for workers who are working from home and  such workers can fulfill their basic needs but yet required to make contribution to social security or face criminal consequences for their failure to do so. In short The Wage Code may not well apply to those who need protection.


I conclude that there are many laws made for the labour but it can be made better and due to lack of knowledge they are unemployed and they must know about their right which are made for them by government then only Indian labour market can come up with the problems which they are facing then only labours and employees will work accordingly if they are aware of their rights and government should also make better laws for protection of workers.



Also read: Why changing Labour Laws is not a good idea? But there is a silver lining…

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