Labour rights are the rights of labourers which protect them against exploitation on the hands of the employer. Labour rights also include right against bonded labour (Article 23 of the Indian constitution).

These rights are protected under the various labour laws as well as the standard set by the International Labour organization. These rights include:

  • rights to be paid minimum and timely wages (Minimum wages Act,1948 and Payment of Wages Act,1936),
  • compensation in case of injury arising out of employment (Employees Compensation Act,2009)
  • bonus (Payment of Bonus Act,1965)
  • equal remuneration (Equal Remuneration Act,1976)

The 44 existing labour laws are to be amalgamated into four codes pertaining to:

  1. wages
  2. industrial relations
  3. social security and welfare
  4. safety and working conditions

The Ministry of Labour and employment has recently introduced a category of ‘Fixed Term Employment’ for all sectors in the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. The main object of this is to substantially reduce the exploitation of Contract labours as the employer would directly hire the worker without any mediator in the form of contract for a fixed term.

According to a recent development, a Universal Social security Code will be established which will divide the workers into four categories. The Code looks forward to repealing the Employees State Insurance Corporation Act and the Employees Provident Fund Act. A welfare Board will be created for organised and unorganised workers. Unorganised workers will have to pay 12% of the wages and organised workers will have to pay 17% of the wages towards this fund.