The concept of labour welfare is very broad and flexible. However, by any meaning, it aims at improving the living and working conditions of the workers and their family members.
The Concept of Labour Welfare:
The concept of labour welfare bears different interpretation from country to country and from time to time. According to International Labour Organization, “Workers Welfare should be understood as meeting such services, facilities and amenities which may be established in or in the vicinity of undertakings to enable the persons employed in them to perform their work in healthy, congenial surroundings and provided with amenities conducive to good health and high moral.”
According to the Labour Investigation Committee, “Labour Welfare activities include anything done for the intellectual, physical, moral and economic betterment of the workers, whether by e by Government or by other agencies over and above what is laid down by law or what is norm expected as a part of the contractual benefits for which the workers may have bargained.”
To conclude, it may be safely said that labour welfare refers to the adoption of measures which aim at promoting the physical, psychological and generate well-being of workers. Such measures include the measures taken by the employer, Government and social-services institutions for intellectual, physical, moral and economic betterment of workers over and above what is laid de by the law of the land. The following provisions regarding welfare of workers in factories:
Washing facilities in Welfare measures
Adequate and suitable facilities: In every factory adequate and suitable facilities for washi shall be provided and maintained for the use of the workers therein.
Separate facilities for male and female: in every factory separate and adequately screened facilities shall be provided for the use of male and female workers.
Conveniently accessible: Such facilities shall be conveniently accessible and shall be kept clean,
Power of the Government: The State Government may, in respect of any factory or class a description of factories or of any manufacturing process standards of “adequate and suitable facilities for washing.
Facilities for storing and drying clothing: The State Government may, in respect of an factory or factories; make rules requiring the provision therein of suitable places for keeping clothing not worn during working hours and for the drying of wet clothing.
Facilities for sitting: The following are the provisions regarding sitting facilities.
Provision of sitting arrangements: In every factory suitable arrangements for sitting shall be provided and maintained for all workers obliged to work in a standing position, in order that they may take advantage of any opportunities for rest which may occur in the course of their work.
Seating arrangement by order of Chief Inspector: If, in the opinion of the Chief Inspector, the workers in any factory are able to do their work efficiently in a sitting position, he may, by order in writing, require the occupier of the factory to provide before a specified date such seating arrangements as may be practicable.
Exemption: The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that the above provisions shall not apply to any specified factory or class or description of factories of any specified manufacturing process.
Key Concepts and Terms of Welfare measures :
Labour welfare refers to the adoption of measures which aim at promoting the physic psychological and general well-being of workers. Such measures include the measures taken the employer, Government and social-services institutions for the intellectual, physical, moral and economic betterment of workers over and above what is laid down by the law of the land.
The Factories Act has made provisions regarding welfare of the workers in factories. The include provisions for
- washing facilities,
- facilities for storing and drying clothing
- facilities for sitting,
- first-aid appliances,
- rest rooms and rooms,
- crèches, and
- welfare officers.
The State Government empowered to make rules to grant exemptions from compliance of these provisions and to require representation of workers in the management of welfare arrangements.
The following provisions regarding provision and maintenance of first-aid appliances:
Provision and maintenance:- There shall in every factory provided and maintained so as to readily accessible during all working hours first- aid boxes or cupboards equipped with the prescribed contents.
The number of such boxes or cupboards to provided and maintained shall not less than one for every one hundred and fifty workers ordinarily employed at any one time in the factory.
Only prescribed contents:- Nothing except the prescribed contents shall kept in a first-aid box or cupboard.
In the charge of a qualified person:- Each first-aid box or cupboard shall kept in the charge of a separate responsible person who holds a certificate in first-aid treatment recognized by the State Government. Such person shall always be readily available during the working hours of the factory.
Ambulance room:- In every factory wherein more than five hundred workers ordinarily employed there shall provided and maintained an ambulance room of the prescribed size. Such room shall containing the prescribed equipment in the charge of such medical and nursing staff as may prescribed and those facilities shall always made readily available during the working hours of the factory.
Canteens:- The following provisions regarding provision and maintenance of canteens:
Rules for provision and maintenance of canteens; The State Government may make rules requiring that in any specified factory; wherein more than two hundred and fifty workers; ordinarily employed a canteen or canteens shall provided; and maintained by the occupier for the use of the workers.
Scope of rules made by the Government may provide for the following matters:
- The date by which such canteen shall be provided.
- The standards in respect of construction, accommodation, furniture and other equipment of the canteen.
- The foodstuffs to served therein and the charges which may made therefore.
- The constitution of a managing committee for the canteen and representation of the workers in the management of the canteen.
- The items of expenditure in the running of the canteen which not to taken into account in fixing the cost of foodstuffs and which shall borne by the employer.
Shelters, rest rooms and Lunch Rooms for Welfare measures :-
Provision and maintenance of shelters, rest rooms etc.;- In every factory wherein more than one hundred and fifty workers are ordinarily employed; adequate and suitable shelters or rest rooms; and a suitable lunch room, with provision for drinking water; where workers can eat meals brought by them; shall be provided and maintained for the use of the workers. However, any canteen maintained in accordance with the provisions of Section 46; shall regarded as part of the requirements of this Sub-section. Further that where a lunch room exists no worker shall eat any food in the work room.
Light and ventilation: The shelters or rest rooms or lunch rooms to provided shall sufficiently lighted and ventilated and shall maintained in a cool and clean condition.
Government may prescribe standards: The State Government may prescribe the standard respect of construction, accommodation, furniture and other equipment of shelters, rest ro0 and lunch rooms.
Provision and maintenance:- In every factory wherein more than thirty women workers a ordinarily employed there shall provided and maintained a suitable room or rooms for the of children under the age of six years of such women.
Adequate accommodation, light, ventilation etc.
Such rooms shall provide adequate accommodation; shall adequately lighted and ventilated, shall maintained in a clean an sanitary condition; and shall under the charge of women trained in the care of children and infants.
Rules by the Government: The State Government empowered to make rules in the following
- Location and standards in respect of construction, accommodation, furniture and other equipment of rooms.
- The provision of additional facilities for the care of children belonging to women workers; including suitable provision of facilities for washing and changing their clothing.
- Provision of free milk or refreshment or both for such children.
- Facilities for the mothers of such children to feed them at the necessary intervals.
Welfare Officers for Welfare measures :-
In every factory wherein five hundred or more workers; ordinarily employed the occupier shall employ in the factory; such number of welfare officers as may prescribed.
Rules by the Government:- The State Government empowered to make rules with regard to the following matters:
Exemption:- The State Government may make rules exempting; subject to compliance with such alternative arrangements for the welfare of workers as may be prescribed; any factory of class or description of factories; from compliance with any of the provisions of welfare of workers.
Participation of workers in welfare arrangements:- The State Government may make rules requiring; in any factory or factories that representatives of the workers; shall associated with the management of the welfare arrangements of the workers.
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