By : Kushangi Sameliya & Rohan Talreja, Law Students, Bharati Vidyapeeth New Law College, Pune


In a democratic country like India, each and every individual has a right to profess any profession which he wants to and is entitled to get paid for the work which he is providing to the service provider or to the company or to any individual. In big companies there are terms and conditions which specifically tells about the amount of salary one will be paid for his work. But when it comes to the rural areas the workers usually don’t enter into a contract with the service provider, they work on daily basis and get paid on the basis of work done on a particular day. This type of payment is a disadvantage to these workers as the service provider considers the working hours and the amount of work done by the worker. There is no minimum wage set which sometimes gives rights to the service providers to exploit the workers and give them unusual payment for the work done.

To protect the workers from exploitation and to provide them minimum wages and other benefits we have labour laws in India. It can be said that the labour law arose because of the Industrial Revolution as there was tussle between the workers and employers. The workers protested and did strikes against the employers for their basic human rights and minimum allowances for their work done. The government of India took all this in consideration and made laws which protected the rights of the workers and provide them basic amenities which they are entitled of. 

In this paper we will be exploring the various labour laws in India which are legislated by the government and how these laws protect and provides the workers their basic rights and amenities. 

Keywords – Labour, Labour Laws, Employment, Employers, Workers


Labour laws can be defined as those laws which protects the significant relationship between the workers, employers and the government. They are also called as ‘the law of employment’ because it protects the rights to the workers, trade unions, provide them basic wages. The birth of labour laws can be traced back from the evolution of Industrial Revolution which established the International Labour Organisation in 1919, the only tripartite agreement of UN. It helps in promotion of equal work for both men and women all over the world and develop standard labour policies. ILO consists of 187 member states from which, India is the permanent member of the governing body of ILO since 1922. 

In India the Trade Dispute Act, 1929 was the first act which governed and protected the relationship between the worker and the employer. As the time passes there were numerous of laws which were enacted and passed by the government of India to protect each and every aspect of basic rights of the workers as well as of employers and there should be a free flow of working between them. 

Labour laws were introduced to maintain the economic and social challenges and to fulfil the following roles in the modern world;

Establishment of a legal system which facilitates a productive individual along with collective employment relations among the workers and the employer to have a productive economy.

To provide with a workplace democracy where the worker and employers can interact with each other about the issues and grievances arising out of work-related matters which will help in maintain a harmonious environment within the workplace.

Providing a guarantee for the maintenance of fundamental rights and labour rights of the individuals and enforcement of those rights whenever they are violated and to provide them redressal mechanism. 

Classification of Labour Laws :

In India there are various labour laws which protects their interests and rights like The Minimum Wages Act 1948, The Factories Act 1948, The Trade Union Act 1926, The Maternity Benefit Act 1961, Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 and many more. The main agenda of labour laws is to create healthy industrial relations among the workers, employers and government, taking care of health and safety of the workers at the workplace and maintaining standards of employment. The Central government as well as the State government is responsible to look after the labour laws, provide specific needs as required according to the situation and legislated upon the matters arising out of labour conflicts.