LABOUR LAWS

The following are the special provisions in labour laws protecting and promoting the rights of women.

THE MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT, 1961

WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OF THE ACT ?


The Act regulates the employment of women in certain establishments (such as factory, a mine, a plantation, or an establishment where in persons are employed for the exhibition of equestrian , acrobatics and other performances) for certain period before and after child-birth ;it provides also for maternity benefit and certain other benefits.

What are the major provisions of the Act ?

Section 4

-Prohibits the employment, or work by, a woman in any establishment during the 6 weeks immediately following the day of her delivery or her miscarriage and ,

-Allows a woman to require from her employer that she is not required, during the month preceding her delivery, to do work of an arduous nature likely to interfere with her pregnancy.
The Act protects against dismissal for being absent due to pregnancy

The Act provides for the payment of maternity benefit (at the rate of the average daily wage) for the period of woman’s actual absence immediately preceeding and including the day of her delivery and for the six weeks immediately following that day (the maximum period of being of 12 weeks : 6 weeks up to and including the day of her delivery and 6 weeks immediately following that day ), provided that she has worked in the establishment for a period of not less than 160 days in the 12 months immediately preceeding the date of the expected delivery


Whether the Act provides for any other financial assistance from the employer?

Section 8 entitles every woman, entitled to maternity benefit under the Act, to receive from her employer a medical bonus of Rs. 250/-, if no pre-natal confinement and post-natal care is provided for by the employer free of charge.

Whether benefits under the Act can be claimed if the woman undergoes miscarriage?

Section 9 provides in case of miscarriage, woman is entitled to leave with wages at the rate of maternity benefit for a period of 6 weeks immediately following the day of her miscarriage.

Whether leave can be extended under any circumstances?

Section 10 of the Act provides that woman suffering illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature birth of child or miscarriage is entitled , in addition to the period allowed to leave with wages at the rate of maternity benefit for a maximum period of one month.

Is there any other positive measures extended under the Act?

Sec. 11 of the Act provides that every woman who delivered a child who returns to duty is allowed in addition to the interval for rest allowed to her, to take, in the course of her daily work, 2 breaks of the prescribed duration for nursing the child until the child is 15 months.

In Kerala, the woman Government employees are entitled for 135 days of leave as maternity benefit.

FACTORIES ACT, 1948.

What are the special provisions for women under the Act?

- the Act prescribes that in every factory there should be separate urinals and latrines for men and women employees.

- Prohibits cleaning , lubricating or adjustment , by women or young persons , of any part of a prime mover or transmission machine
which is in motion , as well as the cleaning , lubricating or
adjustment would expose the woman or young person to risk or
injury from any moving part of that machine or any adjacent
machinery.

- Prohibits the employment of women and children in any part of a factory for pressing cotton in which a cotton-opener is at work.

- Provides that in every factory, adequately screened and separate washing facilities will be provided for the use of male and female employees.


- Provides for crèches in any factory wherein more than 30 women workers are employed.

The Government of India has recently amended the provision in the Factories Act prohibiting work of women in a factory before 6a.m and after 7p.m. The amendment now makes it possible for women to work 24 hrs. in factories.

EQUAL REMUNERATION ACT, 1976

Whether men and women are entitled for equal remuneration for same work?

Section 4 of the Act provides for equal remuneration to men and women workers for same work or work of similar nature.

The Act prohibits any discrimination in recruitment and service conditions, especially in private employment on grounds of sex.

Sec. 5 says ‘ no employer shall, while making recruitment for the same work or work of a similar nature , or in any condition of service subsequent to recruitment such as promotion, training or transfer , make any discrimination against women except where the employment of women is prohibited or restricted by or under any law for the time being in force.’

PLANTATIONLABOUR ACT, 1951


What are the major provisions related to women under the Act?

- provides for crèches in any plantation wherein 50 or more
women workers are employed or where the number of children
(below 6 years) of women workers is 20 or more. (Section 12)

- Pohibits work of woman or child in any plantation before 6a.m
and after 7 p.m (Section 25)

- Provides for sickness and maternity benefits from the employer in
any plantation (Section 32)

MINES ACT, 1952


What are the major provisions applicable to women under the Act?

Sec.46 prohibits work of women

• in a mine below the ground

• in a mine above the ground before 6 am and after 7 am

The Act also provides for an interval of at least 11 hours between cessation of work and resumption of work

BEEDI AND CIGAR WORKERS (CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT ) ACT , 1966


Section 25 of the Act prohibits the employment of women and young persons in any industrial premises covered by this Act , before 6a.m and after 7p.m.

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