Monday, October 3, 2011

Education, Enterprise and Money....WORK CULTURE....

Welfare at work.... 

Before discussing the welfare measures of an employee at work, the measures  available at work  for redressal of grievance or  problem on either  side of employee and employer have to be understood clearly.

Striking Work is the  right available to the employees under collective bargaining to stop or abstain from work till such time the right of employee with respect to employment is addressed to the justified level as per labour laws of the state.  
The employer should agree to the demand of employees if the strike is established as legal and the employer has to pay back the wages of employees for the period of strike.    In case the strike is established as illegal, the employees will lose wages for the strike period with a penalty. 

Lockout is a measure adopted by the employer to temporarily lock the gates of the factory from employees entering the premises when it can be reasonably established that there is a  danger to the  property/business if the employees are allowed in the premises and lift the same the earliest the danger/damage signs vanish. During the period of lockout the employee receives no wages.

Layoff is a measure adopted by the employer to cater for lesser demand in the market for services/skills of employees temporarily and is resorted to such a time the demand re establishes in the market.  
During layoff, the employer should constantly be considering how to redeploy the employees and pay them the minimum wages as stipulated by law for survival of employee at a dignified level. The employees should wait patiently for the change without resorting to any unlawful activities or quit the employment as per the rules laid down. 

Employee welfare measures are such steps taken by the employer ensuring welfare of employee in a reasonable way without disrupting active, profitable and productive work.

Welfare at work is a concept in which the employee does his work with devotion and the employer takes care of some of the specific measures related to the employee where in, if not done, the employee’s health and  well being and hence his rightful living are affected and the work out put in turn suffers.

Welfare measures are defined many times in various measures depending on the ruling authorities. It is difficult to define welfare measures at one stretch .

The capitalistic economies define welfare in one way and the socialist economies define different from this. In spite of defining the right measures, the implimentation was misused maximum in the past. Economies have broken down where the implementation of welfare measures could not be checked /or allowed to exist beyond the means. Economies of capitalistic groups have prospered but only at the exploitation of the weak.

Hence, countries which follow mixed economies have broadly adopted certain welfare measures and related Parliamentary Acts have been passed.  In india, the following acts generally take care of employee welfare in the organised sector.

The Factories Act, 1948 stipulates  clearly terms of employment, working conditions at employment, measures to form employee unions and bargaining rights for employee etc and other related issues.

The Payment of Wages act, 1936 
broadly describes the right of employee to receive the wages for the work he/she has done.  

The Minimum Wages Act, 1948  says that no employee should be paid wages below a level wherein his standard rightful living gets affected. This minimum wage is revised from time to time. 

The Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 is a welfare measure for compulsarily saving part of employee’s monthly earnings along with an equal contribution from employer for meeting the following requirements of employee during the period of service/layoff/post retirement viz., s
avings for retired life,   savings for discharging social responsibilities/duties, savings for medical needs, savings for house making etc.

Extension to this act is Employee Pension Scheme( EPS) where in, instead of giving lumpsum to employee at the time of retirement, a pension will be provided progressively over certain years so that monies are available for employee thru’ out his/her life for a maximum period.

Through Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, the employer gifts a long standing employee of the company for his/her service at the time of resignation/ retirement provided the employee was honest on his job.  But  there is a minimum service requirement to become eligible for gratuity to be paid.

The next welfare act is the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 thru' which the employee makes a small contribution every month and the state provides essential medical care and leave salary to the employee during times of unexpected illenesses/injuries to self/family.

Through  The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965  the employer shares part of the profit with the employee every year as the employer is  making sizable profit out of contributions of employee but paying him/her only limited salary. It is mandatory for the employer to pay this bonus to all employees below certain level specifed in the Act.

The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 mainly provides for redresal of all disputes between employer and employee thru’ arbitration and settlement thru’ labour courts.

The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 defines the responsibility of employer in respect all compensations for various types of employment injuries in which conditions the employee has to be reasonably taken care by the employer and compensated in respect of the monies involved, the leave to be sanctioned and the re habilation package in case of termination of service due to loss of work capacities.

The following other acts cover some of the welfare measures related to specific categories.

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986
The National and Festival Holidays Act
The Weekly Holiday Act, 1942

Welfare is a measure to be remembered by both employer and employee the right way. It helps the business to grow and both employer and employee are happy and become prosperous. If misused, both parties would get affected and in general the economy of state will be under threat. 

The Employer has primarily invested his wealth in the business for earning a decent profit after meeting cost towards employee welfare and grow the same. He always wishes to withdraw his investment if his business is not profitable and if law of land does not permit that, first of all he will not invest. The employee should ever remember this at work and never demand beyond what can reasonably be afforded!


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