This blog will discuss the following points of labour law in West Bengal.
This blog will provide information on the different laws, acts, and regulations that apply to employers and employees in West Bengal. The Labour Law & Employment Department of the government oversees the legal rights of both parties and ensures equality in their relationship. Some of the laws that we will discuss in detail include The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970; West Bengal Payment of Wages Rules, 1937; the Factories Act, 1948; the Plantations Labour Act, 1951; The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947; The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972; and others. Let’s explore the various laws that govern employment in West Bengal.
Labour law, Compliances and applicability
Adhering to the labour law in West Bengal is crucial whether you are starting a new business or have already commenced one. It is important to ensure that you comply with all the regulations and guidelines set forth by the law to avoid any legal troubles.
It is a central legislation that provides for investigating and settling industrial disputes and other specific purposes.
Applicability – It is applicable all over India and covers various industrial relations matters, including conciliation, arbitration, adjudication, strikes, lockouts, layoffs, retrenchment, and unfair labour practices. It is a comprehensive policy.
The Act has been amended several times by the central and state governments to suit the changing needs and conditions of the industrial sector. In particular, the state of West Bengal enacted two amendments to the Act in 1980, namely:
- Industrial Disputes (West Bengal Amendment) Act, 1980 – This act has introduced some changes in the definitions of “industry”, “industrial dispute”, “workman”, and others. It also provided for the constitution of a State Industrial Tribunal to adjudicate certain disputes.
- Industrial Disputes (West Bengal 2nd Amendment) Act, 1980 – This modified the provisions relating to reference of disputes to boards, courts or tribunals and empowered the state government to make rules for regulating the procedure and conduct of conciliation officers and boards.
The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946
This act aims to improve workplace relations, promote consistency, and boost productivity. It applies to larger industrial establishments and requires clear communication of employment conditions through standing orders or service rules.
Applicability – It applies to all Indian industrial establishments except those exempted by the government. It governs certification, modification, appeal, and enforcement of standing orders, with penalties for violations.
An act provides the fixing of minimum rates of wages in certain employments in the state of West Bengal.
It is a central legislation that authorises the state governments to determine minimum wages for certain occupations specified as scheduled employment.
Applicability – It applies to all industries and employment, and there are regulations for setting working hours and overtime wages.
- Form III – Annual return – As an employer, it is required to submit annual returns in the prescribed format. Even if there are no penalties, a Nil return must still be filed within 30 days after the year ends on December 31st.
- Form XIII – Abstract of the Act – Display the act abstract and rules in English and the local language. Post notice with Inspector info and minimum wages for various job categories.
The Payment of Wages Act, 1936
This law regulates salary payments to avoid delays and ensure no unauthorised deductions from employee pay.
Applicability – An act applies to an employed person who works in factories, railways, mines, oilfields, plantations and other establishments specified by the central or state governments.
The Government of West Bengal has enacted the Payment of Wages (West Bengal Amendment) Act 1993 to amend certain provisions of the original act as it applies to the state.
The following are some of the amendments made:
- The wage period should not exceed 15 days, as opposed to an entire month.
- Wages must be paid within five days after the end of the pay period instead of seven or ten days.
- Wages will be paid through a cheque or bank deposit unless the employer and employee agree on another payment method.
- The maximum amount that can be deducted from wages is 50%, regardless of whether any portion is sent to a cooperative society. This is a change from the previous 75% or 50% limit.
- The authority can only pay up to twenty times the amount claimed for delayed wages or illegal deductions instead of ten times the previous limit.
- Form IV – Annual return
- Form V Abstract of the act – The employer must summarise the act in English and the local language within their establishment.
- Record, registers and notices (Limitation period) – The principal employer or contractor must keep records for three years after the last entry date.
- Form VI Notice of rates of wages – The rates of wages payable to different classes of workers employed must be displayed.
- Employers must display a notice in each establishment that includes information about the wage period, wage date, and paymaster.
The Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970
This regulates the employment of contract labour in certain establishments and provides for its abolition in certain circumstances. The act aims to prevent the exploitation of contract labour by the contractors and the principal employers and to ensure better conditions of work and social security for them.
Applicability – This act applies to all establishments and contractors who have employed or currently employed 20 or more workers in the past 12 months as contract labour. However, this applies to establishments and contractors with 10 or more workers in West Bengal.
- Form I – The employer must complete this form in triplicate and include a treasury receipt to apply for a Registration Certificate.
- Form II – The registration certificate for the employer will be in this particular format.
- Form XII – Register of contractors
- Form XXV – Annual return
The Inter-state Migrant Workmen’s (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1979
This act regulates the employment of inter-state migrant workers and provides for their conditions of service and related matters.
The act aims to protect the rights and interests of inter-state migrant workers recruited by contractors or agents from one state and employed in another.
Applicability – The act applies to establishments and contractors who employed five or more inter-state migrant workers on any day of the preceding 12 months. In West Bengal, the number of workers is 10 or more.
The West Bengal Government has established regulations known as the West Bengal Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1980.
These rules include various provisions.
- Application for registration
- Application for licence
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
The act aims to provide equal pay for equal work to male and female employees and to prevent discrimination on the grounds of sex in employment.
Applicability – The act applies to all establishments and employment in India, except those where women’s employment is legally prohibited.
Form D – Every employer should maintain a timely register concerning the workers employed in Form D at the place where the workers are employed.
The Beedi & Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966
This act aims to provide for the health and welfare of the workers in beedi and cigar establishments and to regulate their work conditions and matters connected therewith.
The act applies to all establishments and employment in India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
This act provides the payment of gratuity to the employees who engaged in factories, mines, oilfields, plantations, ports, railway companies, shops or other establishments and for related matters.
Applicability – It is applicable all over India.
- Form A Notice of opening – Employers must follow a set format and give notice within 30 days of being subject to the Act. This applies even if no employees are eligible for gratuity payment.
- Form B Notice of change – An employer has to give notice of change if there is any change in particulars given in Form A as per the prescribed format within 30 days of such change.
- Form F Nomination – Employers should get a duplicate gratuity nomination form from employees, preferably during their appointment.
- Form I Application of gratuity by an employee – Employees must submit the required form for gratuity within 30 days of termination.
- Form L Notice for payment of gratuity – An employer must give notice for payment of gratuity in the prescribed form.
- Form U Abstract of the act – Employers must display the act summary in English and the local language at work.
- Notice to the authorised officer – Employers must post a notice with designated contact info for receiving notices. Any updates must be promptly displayed.
This act provides certain benefits to employees in case of sickness, maternity and employment injury and provides for certain related matters.
Applicability – An act applies to all non-seasonal factories run with power and employing 10 or more persons and to those that run without power and employ 20 or more persons.
- Form 01 – Employers must submit their returns by January 31st to the designated office in the correct format.
- Form 12 – Employers must submit an Accident Report to the local office within 24 hours of the accident.
- Form 11 – Employers must record any personal injury accidents from the most recent entry for five years.
- Monthly remittance challan – The employer shall remit monthly contributions before the 21st of every month.
This act provides pension and deposit-linked insurance funds for factory employees and others.
Applicability – The law applies to factories and establishments with 20+ employees in Schedule I industries or as notified by the Central Government.
- Form 2 – When hiring, employers should get a nomination form for PF coverage. Only eligible family members can be covered.
- E- Challan cum return monthly
- Monthly remittance challan -An employer shall remit monthly contributions before the 15th of every month.
Maternity Benefit Act, 1969
This act regulates women’s employment in certain establishments for certain periods before and after childbirth and provides maternity benefits and certain other benefits.
Applicability – The law applies to factories, mines, plantations, government-owned establishments, and venues for performances. It also covers shops employing or currently employing ten or more people per state laws.
This refers to a tax that is imposed on individuals who earn a salary through their profession, employment, calling, or trade. To get to know more details, click on PT.
- Form IA – Certificate of Registration
- Form IIA – Certificate of Enrolment
Factories Act, 1948
An act provides healthy and safe working conditions for factory workers.
Applicability – The act applies to all factories where 10 or more workers are employed with the aid of power, or 20 or more workers are employed without the aid of power.
This act aims to pay bonuses to persons employed in certain establishments based on profits, production, or productivity and for matters connected therewith.
Applicability – This law applies to workplaces with 20+ workers or 10+ using power during the year.
Shops & Establishment Act
An act regulates the conditions of work and employment in shops and commercial establishments. It covers various aspects such as working hours, rest intervals, overtime, holidays, leaves, wages, health, safety, welfare and termination of workers. The act also requires every shop and establishment to register with the concerned authority and to maintain certain records and registers.
There are other relevant laws in place for the state of West Bengal.
- The Trade Unions Act, 1926
- The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986
- The Plantations Labour Act, 1951
- The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961
- The Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976
- The Working Journalists & Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service & Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1955
- The Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
We have come to the end of our discussion on Labour law in West Bengal. Let’s know your other questions and opinions on this topic. Mention below the comment box.