India is a democratic socialistic republic constituted for the welfare of its people and is also committed to making working class as bedrock for consolidating the republic. The state of Jammu and Kashmir as a constituent of republic is committed to the welfare of the working class and to the empowerment of the Labourers to enable them to play their role in the institution building of the state. It is with these ideals in view that the state of Jammu and Kashmir has adopted 22 central legislations relating to the Labourers and which take care of regulatory mechanisms for implementation of these laws and social security measures to improve socio-economic conditions of the working class. These welfare measures include Provident fund, Medical insurance, a package of Welfare schemes for building and construction workers, Rehabilitation of Child Labourers and Bonded labourers, concialiation between employees and employres in case of a dispute etc.The state has also enacted three state legislations dealing with the welfare of the working class in the state.
The state government has also placed a well knit institutional mechanism to implement these legislations through the State Labour Department, Provident Fund Organisation, State Insurance Corporation(ESIC) and Jammu and Kashmir Building and Other Construction Welfare Board.
The primary resposibilty of implementation of the legislation vests with the department of Labour headed by Labour Commissioner and having persons at divisional and district level.The mandate of the department includes to ensure:-
- Compensation to workers for injury or death in course of employment and out of employment.
- Payment of wages gratuity ,bonus,maternity benefits ,Health insurance and provident fund.
- Settlement of disputes of workers with employers.
- 1971 Health Safety and other welfare measures of the workers.
- Improving working conditions and ensuring safe and congenial atmosphere at workplace.
- Regulating working conditions.
- A special measure for the welfare of building construction workers regulating trade unions by registering the union’s employees ensuring safety of workers by implementing Factory Act and Labour Act ,Abolishing Bonded Labour wherever it exists in any form and manifestation implementing the child labour to ensure that no child is implicated in hazardous works.
All these measures are taken under various legislations enlisted along with their features.
The Labour Department is charged with the responsibilities of enforcement of 23 Central Labour Laws and 3 State enactments for regulating the working conditions of the workers and their welfare in Public/private organized/un-organized Sectors. At the state level, the department is headed by the Labour commissioner with Deputy Labour commissioner and Assistant Labour commissioners respectively are functioning as divisional/districts heads of the department. The department has its offices at Delhi and Chandigarh as well. These offices look after the welfare of J&K migratory labourers there. These offices are functioning under the control of Deputy Labour Commissioners and Assistant Labour Commissioners respectively. Besides above, under Employees State Insurance Scheme, 08 ESI Medical Dispensaries in the State are functioning under the administrative control of Administrative Medical Officer ESI, J&K who look after the health related issues of workers (IPS).