Labour laws In Kerala
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Labour laws In Kerala

This blog will discuss the following points on labour laws in Kerala.



Labour laws, also known as employment laws, regulate the functioning of establishments and address legal rights, restrictions, and conditions of workers and employment. These laws maintain the relationship between employers and employees and ensure equality.

There are several rules and acts that cover the law, applicability, and compliance in Kerala, such as the Payment of Bonus Act, Minimum Wages, Shop and Establishment Act, Payment of Wages Act, Employees’ State Insurance Act, Employee Provident Fund Act, and others.

Below, you will find more detailed information about labour laws in Kerala.

Labour Laws, Compliances, and Applicability in Kerala

If you are starting or planning to start a new business in Kerala, complying with the state’s labour laws is essential.

The following acts describe these applicabilities in Kerala;

Kerala Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1975

The primary aim of this act is to provide various welfare measures to benefit workers and their families. The funds generated under this act are utilised to implement welfare schemes, such as medical aid, educational assistance, housing, etc. To get to know the details about the labour welfare fund, click here.

Applicability – Applies to all establishments in Kerala except those that the Government exempts.


  • The Employers have to register their establishment within 30 days of the commencement of business.
  • Employers must maintain the records and prescribed register by the Labour Board.

Payment of Wages Act, 1936

This act regulates the payment of wages to the employees who work or are employed in the organisation, factories or any other establishment in the state of Kerala.

This act aims to ensure fairness in payment and provide remedies for delayed or non-payment of wages.


  • Maintenance of employee records and registers
  • Appointment of inspectors and authorities

Maternity Benefit Act 1961

This act focuses on the welfare of pregnant women and provides them with certain benefits. The act applies to women employed in factories, mines, plantations, shops or establishments with ten or more employees.

For more details on maternity benefits, click here.

Some key provisions of the Maternity Benefit Act include Payment during Maternity Leave, Prohibition of Dismissal during the Maternity period, Duration of Maternity Leave, etc.

Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

The act aims to provide equal pay to female and male employees for work, preventing discrimination based on gender in employment and related matters. Read more.


  • Employers have to pay equal remuneration to male and female employees for the same work or work of a similar nature.
  • An employer must avoid discrimination against women in recruitment, promotion, training, transfer, or other service conditions.
  • Maintain records and registers as prescribed by the Government and produce them for inspection by the authorised officers.

Payment of Bonus Act, 1965

The act regulates the payment of bonuses to employees in certain establishments based on profits, productivity, and others. This act aims to ensure the fair distribution of profits among employees and motivate them to work efficiently. Check out the further details of the Payment of Bonus Act.

Applicability – Applies to all establishments employing 20 or more persons, except those exempted by the Government.

Weekly Holidays Act, 1942

The act provides weekly holidays to persons employed in various organisations. It aims to ensure that workers get at least one day of rest in a week without any wage deductions.

Applicability – It is applicable all over India.


  • Every shop must remain closed on one day of the week, which must be specified by the shopkeeper in a notice displayed in the shop.
  • Persons employed in a restaurant, shop, or theatre must be allowed one day of holiday once a week.

Minimum Wages Act, 1948

This act provides for fixing the minimum wage rate in establishments. The act aims to ensure fair and adequate remuneration for workers and to prevent exploitation and poverty. For more details about minimum and state-wise minimum wages, click here.

Environment Protection Act 1986

The act aims to safeguard and improve the quality of the environment. It plays a pivotal role in regulating and managing environmental concerns in India. It addresses various issues and provides a legal framework for environmental protection and sustainable development.

Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986

The act aims to eliminate the exploitative practice of child labour while providing a framework for the regulation of permissible work for adolescents (aged between 14 & 18 years).

Here is the list of occupations and processes where child labour is prohibited, such as beedi making, carpet weaving, mining, domestic work, etc. It also lays down the conditions for regulating child labour in other occupations and processes, such as hours and periods of work, weekly holidays, health and safety measures, etc.

Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970

This act aims to regulate the employment of contract labour and safeguard their rights. The act provides guidelines for the employment of contract labour by establishments and aims to prevent exploitation.

Applicability – This is Applicable to establishments and contractors who employ 20 or more workers as contract labour on any day of the preceding 12 months.

Factories Act, 1948

The act regulates factory workers’ working conditions, health, safety, and welfare. It also defines the roles & responsibilities of the managers, inspectors, and certifying surgeons concerning factories.

Applicability – The Act applies to all factories, including State and Central Government, in the premises wherein:

  • 10 or more workers are employed with the use of power.
  • 20 or more workers are employed without the use of power.
  • Less than 10 workers if the State Government notifies activity.
  • And are Engaged in manufacturing activities.


  • Form 7 – Lime washing, painting and other records
  • Form 9 – Register of CO ( Compensatory Off)
  • Form 10 – Overtime Muster roll for employee
  • Form 12 – Register of Adult Worker
  • Form 13 – Notice of working hours for Child workers
  • Form 14 – Register of Child Worker
  • Form 15 – Register of Salary & Leaves
  • Form 16 – Leave Book
  • Form 17 – Register of Health
  • Form 21 – Annual Return
  • Form 22 – Half Yearly Return
  • Form 28 – Attendance Card

Shop & Establishment Act, 1960

An Act is regulated to protect the rights of employees. This act provides regulations of the payment of wages, terms of services, work hours, rest intervals, overtime work, working hours, off days, holidays, leaves, maternity benefits and leave, working conditions, rules for employment of children, records maintenance and others.

Amendments of Keral Shop & Establishments act 2023

Applicability – It applies to all shops & establishments in Kerala.


  • Form A – Employment register
  • Form BB – Service Record
  • Form C – Notice of the Daily Working Hours for Employees
  • Form E – Holiday for workers
  • Form F – Register of Leave and holiday granted
  • Form H- Quartly Return
  • Leaves –
Type Of Leave Entitlement Forward Days
Casual Leave (CL) 12 days (first 12 months and further continuous service) NA
Sick Leave (SL) 12 days (during their first 12 months and further continuous service) NA
Earned/Privileged Leave (EL) 12 days (after 12 months of continuous service) 24


  • Working Hours
Normal Hours 8 hrs per day and 48 hrs in a week
Interval After 4 hours of work intervals, for the rest of 1 hour,
Overtime Hrs 48 hrs a quarter
Spread over Hrs 10.5 hrs in any of the day
OT Wages rate Twice the ordinary wages rate.

There are some other acts which are applicable in the State of Kerala –

  • Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955
  • Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961
  • Plantations Labour Act, 1951
  • Beedi and Cigar Workers (Employment’s Conditions) Act, 1966
  • Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976
  • Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Service Conditions) Act, 1979
  • Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986
  • Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Service Conditions) Act, 1996

Here, we end our discussion on Labour law in Kerala. In the comment section below, kindly share your thoughts and questions about this topic.

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