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This article is written by Piyush Thanvi, pursuing B.Com. LL.B. (Hons.) from Institute of Law Nirma University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat


The rise in industrial jurisprudence has eliminated the idea of master and servant, where the boss and the contractor principle arose, where the former could appoint the latter but could no longer expel it. An employee’s benefit is now secured in many ways by Legislation.

In MC Mehta case (see here), the Court served as a worker’s defender and sometimes has been a lawmaker where labour law is silent or vague. However, several labour regulations and constitutional changes in response to the call, were made by the judiciary. It has also expanded to protect the interests of workers, the fundamental freedom to equality curves, trading in the right to life and freedom provided by human beings by the rule of law. This expression has been extended significantly by the Supreme Court

Economic and social justice for all its people. The Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in our Constitution include a special mention given their supreme position significance in directing and shaping the country’s labour laws

Rights for Workers enumerated under the Indian Constitution in accordance with Industrial Jurisprudence

In specific, Article 24 of the Constitution (see here) specifies that no child under the age of 14 will be engaged in any industrial production or factory. 

Article 38 (see here), it was explicitly stated that “the state shall strive to promote the welfare of the people.”

Article 39 (see here) ordains that it shall be the duty of the State to apply certain principles of social justice in making laws. It says citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.

The Condition that is diverted by Article 42 (see here) also directs the State to make provision for just and fair assurances Working life and maternity opportunities. The State shall always seek to guarantee, by relevant law provided through sufficient commercial entity Agricultural, or in some other way, to all staff Job, a living wage, manufacturing or otherwise, working conditions guaranteeing a decent standard of life with complete satisfaction.

Article 43 (see here) provides that the State shall take the required action by way of relevant laws or in any other means to guarantee the involvement of Staff in the management of enterprises, establishments, or other decision-making activities that are active in each enterprise.

Adoption of measures on social security of workers under the International Labour Organisation

In 1952 the International Labour Organization introduced the Convention on Social Security (Minimum Norms), which combines widely agreed fundamental values and standard social security requirements. The implementation of socio-economic growth concepts which had secured advances in this area across the world. Accordingly, a variety of social welfare laws and regulations were enforced in India. To enhance the quality of labour maintenance with a view to the growth of industry and the national economy.

Legislation passed in India to preserve socio-economic equality

The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923

The Act provides compensation for death, total disablement, partial disablement, and temporary disablement. Employers are responsible for paying such compensation following the Act and rules made thereunder. Initially, it was applied to the railway, tram, factory, mine, sea, dock, building, trade, sewage, and fire brigade workers. The critical component of the trade union is to make it possible for Staff to behave collectively. The strike is the last resort tactic to use.

The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946

Among the most critical reasons for conflict between management and employees in India were industrial companies. The Industrial Employment Act (standing orders) aimed at regulating the conditions on the recruitment of employees, discharge for disciplinary activities, holidays, etc.

The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

In order to enhance labour standards, the Industrial disputes Act of 1947 came into existence and was a progressive form of social law. The purpose of this Act is to mitigate work-management tension and promote economic and social fairness as much as feasible. This Act aims to allow for labour conflicts to be examined and resolved.

The Minimum Wages Act, 1948

In 1948 the Minimum Wages Act was passed to provide benefits to employees. The Act was passed to guarantee the protection of workers in a fair economy by setting a minimum pay cap in specific industries. The primary aim of the Bill is to set the minimum salaries in order to prevent the risk of workplace abuse.

The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948

It is another vital piece of Legislation on social security. A principle of law aims to provide the exploited labor community with social and economic rights. The Act aims to provide social security in the event of illness, pregnancy, and many other issues by granting such incentives to workers who come under this Legislation—the first national security program to include benefits funded by employees, contractors, and government.

The Factories Act, 1948

Factories Act 1948 is a socio-economic act designed to achieve social reform. The Act seeks to maintain protection and functional living and working standards for employees operating in factories against industrial workplace accidents. provisions of the Act clearly show that both are for the benefit and welfare of workers

Industrial Dispute

The most controversial dispute related to employee-employer relationships arises, and questions raised in regards to what if any dispute arises between worker and employer of the said organization then that dispute can be held under ‘industrial dispute’ under section 2(k) of the Industrial Dispute Act? Before the ruling of the Supreme Court in Central Provinces Transport Service v Raghunath Gopal Patwardhan (see here). This issue has led to significant controversy. The overall outcome of the above ruling is that a single employee, not assisted by the “appreciable number” of workmen or the community, does not remediate under the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947.

In Workmen v M/s Dharampal Prem Chand (see here), it was held that, in the industrial adjudication, the tests and considerations it applies would necessarily be rational and would depend on the circumstances and would not accept any rigid or inflexible implementation. No question there are real reasons behind the constraints imposed by the Court’s decisions when analyzing the effect of the term provided by Section 2(k) of the Industrial Dispute Act.

Interpretation of Right to Strike

In the All India Bank Employees Association v National Industrial Tribunal (see here), the Court refused to include the right to strike in deciding the context of Article 19(1)(c) (see here) of the Indian Constitution.

It was further held by the same judgment that there would be regulation or limitation by applicable labor law on the right to strikes or to impose a lockout. It should be essential to evaluate the feasibility of such laws, not concerning the purpose set out in Article 19(4) (see here), but with an utterly different meaning.

Further Tribunals and courts found that employees engaging in a lawful and rational strike cannot be refused because the constitutional right to strike will become meaningless if denied. Moreover, courts held that the reinstatement of workers in a lawful, valid strike could not be declined merely because other individuals have taken their positions. The Court was prudent in maintaining industrial self-control while putting down these regulations when it allowed it to hold that such a law only applied to nonviolent strikers. A legitimate and unwarranted protest poses complicated issues. The courts also acknowledged that it does not preclude the possibility of strikers’ dismissal simply because the action has been declared legitimate.

The Punjab National Bank v. Employees’ (see here) decision has redeemed that workers illegally disqualified for participating in a lawful but unreasonable strike are generally deemed to rehabilitation, even though others filled their spots during the strike. Jobs are also entitled to reinstatement if they have been engaged in a protest triggered by any discriminatory labor conditions or the employer’s dehumanization. The principle that genuine involvement in an unlawful strike does not require the elimination of strikers has already been identified.

Bonded Labour

Bandhua Mukti Morcha (see here) is a landmark judgment in the field of bonded labor, where the Court has extended its protective powers to various aspects, including its recognition, release and rehabilitation, and has ordered the Government of Haryana to (a) set up a vigilance panel in each subdivision of the area; (b) instruct the district magistrates to undertake work on bond identification; (c) to provide assistance to non-political social action organizations and community groups with a view to ensuring the enforcement of the Act (d) to draw up, within the same duration of three months from the date of the judgment, a scheme or system for the resettlement of liberated bonded workers in the light of the standards established by the Secretary to the Government of India.

In Balram v. State of MP (see here), the purpose was to issue sufficient funding under the scheme laid down in the Act for Effective Rehabilitation. The Court further ordered the Additional Collector and the other officers involved to ensure that they had earned the full sum intended for free labor. 

In the People’s Union for Civil Liberties v State of Tamil Nadu (see here), the Court acknowledged that the authorities had not taken meaningful measures towards the classification and rehabilitation and protection of bonded workers. The Court, therefore, issued directions to the State with additional directions to the State of Madhya Pradesh to take certain steps stated therein to eliminate harm.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

In Mackinnon Mackenzie & Co. v Audrey D’Costa (see here), the Court noted that the authority would take a wider view when determining if the job is the same or substantially similar. Similarly, in deciding if any variations are of practical significance, the authority would take an equally broad approach, for the very principle of comparable work implies variations in nature, although they should not negate the argument for equality on an insignificant basis. The Court added that the authority would consider all the work that was actually performed, which were not technically necessary. This should look at the roles usually performed by men and women in contrast. If, however, all men and women work at unexpected hours, there is no obligation that all those who work, e.g., at night, be paid the same fair rates as all of those who work regular daytime hours. Consequently, a woman who works on a daily basis cannot assert parity with a man at a higher standard level for night shifts, and the applicant itself would be eligible to that rate if she switched shifts.

The Supreme Court held that the term ‘same job or work of a similar nature’ signifies: (a) similarity of skill; commitment and obligation when carried out under identical circumstances; (b) standard of work, which differs from position to position and from organization to organization, which is not a matter of inference but of proof; and (c) performance of identical tasks, obligations and functions; The Court also held that, because the plea of equal pay for equal work must be tested in compliance with Article 14 of the Constitution, the burden of proof is on the appellants to determine, as the case may be, their right to equal pay or a plea of discrimination.

The meaning of the phrase ‘same work or work of a similar nature’ was discussed in Harbans Lal v State of HP (see here). The Supreme Court ruled that a daily rated worker is qualified to earn a minimum wage but not a minimum in the pay scale applied to similar workers on a daily basis unless the employer has agreed to make such a minimum pay scale available to a daily rated worker.

This status was thoroughly clarified in the State of Haryana v. Jasmer Singh (see here). Here, the Supreme Court decided that workers working on daily wages can not be classified at the same level as workers engaged on a regular basis because: (a) they are not expected to have the qualifications prescribed for regular workers; (b) they do not meet the age criteria at the process of hiring, and (c) they are not recruited in the manner in which regular employees are selected.


Throughout the industrial enterprise, employees are the dominant partners, and the industry cannot thrive without collaboration, commitment, dedication, honesty, and character. There will always also be a reliable and essential partnership between the boss and the employee. The industry ‘s income must, therefore, be divided by businesses, employees, and the environment. At the same time, workers must be safe, secure, and adequate welfare; healthy working conditions should be provided to ensure that not only the employers reaped but also society and the nation will prosper successfully. Social and economic labour enhancement is very crucial to keeping industrial peace, and to secure industrial peace, social and economic labour enhancement is indeed very necessary.

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