Employment and labor law in IndiaImage Courtesy - Lloyd Law College

India faces an extensive labor community. Before independence, the country had a restricted set of labor laws, but soon after independence, the community emerged as one of the most important sectors of the country. To provide this community i.e., the labor class, freedom and several rights various laws were enacted, collectively known as Labor laws, and those advocated it are known as Labor law advocates. The law is also commonly known as the industrial law of India.

Also Read about - Criminal Law in India

In India, the industrial/Labor law was drafted with primary intention to protect British employers. The first-ever Indian statute, which regulated the relationship between employer and employee, was the Trade Dispute Act, 1929 (Act 7 of 1929). The act provided the provisions relating to strike and lockout, but any machinery, in particular, to deal with the disputes between the employer and employee was yet not established. Post-independence, relevant changes were made because the prevailing conditions demanded corporation between both the Labor and capital, which was also approved in a conference held on December 1947 in which it was decided that for the development and advancement of the economy the employee shall be provided with fair work conditions, wages and capital in return should expect full cooperation. Finally, the Trade Dispute Act, 1929, was repealed, and on 01.04.1947, The Industrial Disputes Act was enacted.

Read About Law scope in India

The constitution of India has distributed the subjects of concern in three lists the Union; the State, and Concurrent. “Labor” falls under the third list i.e., the concurrent list. Therefore, both the central and state government can enact legislation for the same. To maintain a healthy work environment and for better productivity, the interest of the workers who are poor or the deprived class are protected by the Ministry of Labor and Employment. Not only this, but ministry also develops and coordinates vocational skills and employment services. In both the organized and unorganized sectors, the government attention is focused on providing social security and welfare activities. Several Labor laws were implemented, to regulate the service conditions of the workers and to draw a difference between the organized sector and the unorganized sector.

The significant areas concerning the Labor laws are: -

  1. a) Labor policy and legislation;
    b) Safety, health, and welfare of Labor;
    c) Social security of Labor;
    d) Policy relating to particular target groups such as women and child Labor;
    e) Industrial relations and enforcement of Labor laws in the central sphere;
    f)Adjudication of industrial disputes through Central Government Industrial Tribunals-cum-Labor Courts and National Industrial Tribunals;
    g)Workers education;
    h) Labor and employment statistics;
    i) Emigration of Labor for employment abroad;
    j) Employment services and vocational training;
    k) Administration of central Labor and employment services; and
    l) International cooperation in Labor and in employment matters.

For regulating such areas, specific laws are drafted such as payment of wages, minimum wages, payment of bonus, payment of gratuity, contributions to provident fund and pension fund, working conditions, accident compensations, etc. Generally, the State governments have their own Labor Ministry seeking compliance with the laws. For example: State Shops and Establishments Act, Labor Welfare Fund Act, etc. Globally, an International Labororganization (ILO) is established, which deals with the importance of Labor force keeping in mind the objective of socio-economic justice.

Labor Law as Career
The relationships of employer-employee or the Union- Employee is covered under the broad field of Employment Law. The lawyers in this field generally work on behalf of the union or its members. While dealing, the lawyers follow the various laws that have been drafted with the objective of collective bargaining. Nowadays, it has become mandatory for the industries to comply with specific regulations, a lot of employment results into disputes. As a result, a lot of leading law firms has taken Labor laws as their core areas. Adherence to Labor law is the need of every company,so they prefer appointing an individual lawyer as a compliance officer or a legal advisor.

The various services provided by these Law firms are: -

  1. A)Trade unions and employment-related litigation.
    B)Disciplinary and departmental proceedings.
    C) Employment rights and related benefits.
    D) Constitutional rights and remedies.
    E) Employment and service contracts.
    F) Strikes and layouts, etc.

Employment law teams in the law firms provide numerous services, which include litigation as well as transactional. The firms also assist in the management of employment risk and advice their clients on compliance issues as well as offering support to the human resource department. Various employment agreements and policies are drafted for them are advice is rendered for the merger and takeovers.

The Constitution of India is the grundnorm for all the laws in India. All the laws in India are drafted in accordance with the constitution; any act in violation of it shall stand as abolished. In drafting, the labor laws, the Directive Principles of state policy play a significant role. The legislations meet out three demands of the present scenario: -


1) It enables easy maintenance of relationships between an individual and an employer.

2) Considering the workplace democracy, it facilitates in maintaining harmonious industrial relationships and also provides an accessible framework to the employer/employee to sort out employment-related issues.

3) It provides a set of fundamental principles and rights at work.

Consumer Right and and Consumer protection Act


Arushi Dhawan

Assistant Professor