The Ministry of Labour and Employment is one of the oldest and most important Ministries in India. The Ministry is responsible for protecting and safeguarding the rights of workers. The Ministry aims at creating conducive work environment for higher production and productivity.
The Ministry also targets to develop and coordinate, vocational skill training of employees. However, Skill Development responsibilities like Industrial Training, Apprenticeship and so on were transferred to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in November 2014.
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Framing labour policy and legislation: The responsibility of framing all the policies is with Ministry of Labour and employment.
Indian Labour Law was brought in place to ensure the well being of labour. Below mentioned are the key Labour Laws in India.
Payment of Gratuity Act 2018: This Act aims at supporting labour post retirement. Gratuity is a one-time payment made to the employee by the employer, when the employee decides to part ways with the company for any reason. To receive gratuity, the employee should have worked for at least 5 years in a company.
i) Fixed Term Contracts: The employers must clarify with potential employees on the term of employment. However, the permanent employees in the company cannot be converted into temporary employees.
ii) Protection Of Term Contract Employees: The rules and regulations applied to the term contract employees would be same as that of the full-time employees. Term contract employees would receive the same benefits that permanent employees enjoy, except that their term might not be extended.
iii) Termination: A term contract employee cannot be terminated without a valid reason within the term. But he/she can be terminated without any reason after their term ends, as per the requirement of the employer.
iv) Enhancement Of Wages, Payment Of Wages Act: This Act was enacted to ensure the timely payment of wages and prevent unlawful deductions.
v) Code On Wages Bill, 2017: This Bill was passed in 2017 to replace older Bills.
Uniform Definition Of Wages: The Bill gives a uniform definition of wages. Wages are defined as all remuneration payable in the form of money or expressed in any other form of payment, considering the employee fulfils his employment terms.
ii) Uniform Minimum Wage: The State Governments set the minimum wage payable in each industry. An employer cannot pay less than the set minimum wages. Employees can report if they are paid less than the minimum wage and sue the employer for the same.
iii) Uniform Applicability: The laws are applicable to all the employees. The Bill ensures equal remuneration and a universal minimum wage, regardless of their industry specification.
iv) Redundancies, transfers and reorganizations: In case of redundancies that require termination of an employee, the employer must inform the employee on the notice period and pay out the remuneration accordingly. In case of transfers, the employees can be moved to another organization only with their consent.
As per the Factories Act, an adult cannot work for more than 48 hours a week. On daily basis, an adult cannot work for more than 8 hours. Employees should be given a break of at least half an hour, every day.
· Jagjivan Ram (1947–1952)
· V. V. Giri (1952-1954)
· Gulzarilal Nanda (1957-1963)
· Bindeshwari Dubey (26 June 1988 – 1 December 1989)
· Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (22 May 2004 - 2006)
· Mallikarjun Kharge (29 May 2009-16 June 2013)
· Sis Ram Ola (17 June 2013-15 Dec 2013)
· Narendra Singh Tomar (26 May 2014 – 9 November 2014)
· Bandaru Dattatreya (9 November 2014 - 1 September 2017)
· Santosh Gangwar (3 September 2017 - Present)
· Harish Rawat (2009–2011)
· Kodikkunnil Suresh (2012–Present).
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