The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970
The Contract Labour (Regulation And Abolition) Act was enacted in the year 1970 by the Indian Legislature. The act is applicable to establishments in which twenty or more workmen are employed. It does not apply to establishments in which work of an intermittent or casual nature only is performed. But if such work was performed for more than one hundred and twenty days in the last one year or was of a seasonal character and was performed for more than sixty days in a year, then the act is applicable. A workman is deemed to be employed as “contract labour” 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. Worker has been defined under the Act as meaning any person employed in or in connection with the work of any establishment to do any skilled, semiskilled or un-skilled manual, supervisory, or clerical work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment be express or implied. But the following are not included-
– one who is employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity; or
– one who being employed in a supervisory capacity draws wages exceeding five hundred rupees per mensem or
– one who is an out-worker.
The law mandates that every establishment to which the Act applies has to register with the registering officer. Government has also the power to prohibit employment of contract labour in any process, operation or other work in any establishment. The Act further stipulates that no contractor to whom the Act applies can undertake or execute any work through contract labour without having a licence issued by the licensing officer.
Regarding facilities to be provided to contract labourers, the Act stipulates that every contractor employing contract labour to whom the Act applies, has to provide canteen, restrooms, latrines, urinals, first aid facilities etc. If any such amenity for the benefit of the contract labour employed in an establishment is not provided by the contract such amenity has to be provided by the principal employer and the expenses incurred by the principal employer for doing so can be recovered from the contractor. Again every contractor has been made responsible for payment of wages to each worker employed by him as contract labour. Again if the contractor fails to make payment of wages within the prescribed period or makes short payment, then the principal employer shall be liable to make payment of wages in full or the unpaid balance due, as the case may be, to the contract labour employed by the contractor but he can recover the amount so paid from the contractor.