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Overview

The Labour Department is one of the major departments of the government, mainly involved in maintaining industrial peace and harmony in the state.

The Labour Department is one of the major departments of the government, mainly involved in maintaining industrial peace and harmony in the state. The department seeks to facilitate harmonious industrial relations with an aim at ensuring the workers’ basic rights at their workplace. There are a number of social security schemes and welfare fund boards for different sections of workers. The department is instrumental in conciliation and conflict resolution between the labour and the management. The Labour Department seeks to promote welfare of the working class by ensuring safety, security and improved conditions of work, enforcing various labour laws in respect of minimum wages, payment of wages , gratuity etc., facilitating collective bargaining within the framework of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, providing social security for the workers and their family members, legal remedies in exigencies like loss of job, strike, lockout, closure etc., special protection for specific class of workers like women, children, beedi workers, motor transport workers, construction workers, plantation workers etc. It also facilitates employment/placement of job seekers and undertakes skill development programmes for the job seekers.

The diversified activities of the Labour Department, West Bengal are carried out by the different Directorates of the Department as described below:

Labour Commissionerate

The Labour Commissionerate of the state maintains industrial relations, enforces various labour laws and also administers social security schemes for the workers. The Labour Commissionerate administers the following Acts:

• The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
• The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946
• The Minimum Wages Act, 1948,
• The Payment of Wages Act, 1936;
• The Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970
• The Interstate Migrant Workmen’s (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1979
• The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
• The Beedi & Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966
• The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961
• The Plantations Labour Act, 1951
• The Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976
• The Working Journalists & Other News paper Employees (Conditions of Service & Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1955
• The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972
• The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986
• The Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
• The Trade Unions Act, 1926
• The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965

Apart from these Central Acts, the Commissionerate also administers the West Bengal Payment of Subsistence Allowance Act, 1969, West Bengal House Rent Allowance Act, 1974, West Bengal Unorganised Sector Workers’ Welfare Act, 2007. The Beedi Workers’ Welfare Scheme 2007 is also implemented by the Commissionerate.

Besides, the West Bengal Unorganised Sector Workers Welfare Board administers the State Assisted Scheme of Provident Fund for Unorganised Workers (SASPFUW), the West Bengal Building & Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board administers the welfare and social security schemes for construction workers and the West Bengal State Social Security Board administers the welfare scheme for transport workers. This Commissionerate also administers the West Bengal Shops & Establishments Act, 1963 which regulates the employment and working conditions of the employees working in shops and establishments all over West Bengal.

Directorate of Employment

There are 73 Employment Exchanges and 4 University Employment Information and Guidance Bureau under the Employment Directorate. It acts as a placement agency for the registered job-seekers as well as a facilitator in enhancing their employability under Skill Development Programme or for starting their own individual enterprises through self-employment skill schemes under Udiyaman Swanirvhar Karmasangsthan Prokalpa (USKP).

Directorate of Factories

The Directorate of Factories primarily looks after the implementation of the Factories Act, 1948 for ensuring safety, health and welfare of the workers inside the factory premises. It strives to prevent occurrence of accidents and occupational health hazards.

Directorate of Boilers

The Directorate of Boilers is responsible for administration of the Indian Boiler Act, 1923 and its main functions include assuring the safety of human life and property by adopting sound manufacturing practice, safe operation and proper maintenance of the Boilers.

Directorate of ESI (MB) Scheme

The Employees State Insurance (Medical Benefit) Scheme is administered by this Directorate in collaboration with the Employees State Insurance Corporation. Under this scheme medical treatment, diagnostic facilities as well as cash benefits are provided to the insured workers. It is also responsible for administering the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).

State Labour Institute

The State Labour Institute conducts various training programmes, seminars, workshops for the government officers, trade union leaders etc. Besides, it conducts a one year Post Graduate Diploma Course in Human Resource Development & Labour Welfare as well as a six months Advanced Certificate Course in Construction Safety.

Boards under labour Department

The Board was formed with the purpose of promoting welfare activities amongst the working class population. It administers the West Bengal Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1974. It has 51 Labour Welfare Centres in different Industrial Zones and Tea Gardens of the State. These Centres aim at developing the physical and mental capacities of the workers and their families.

Seven boards have been formed with the purpose of promoting welfare activities amongst the working class population. These seven boards are:

1. West Bengal Labour Welfare Board

2. The West Bengal Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board

3. The West Bengal Unorganized Sector Workers Welfare Board

4. The West Bengal State Social Security Board

5. Minimum Wages Advisory Board

6. West Bengal Tea Plantation Employees’ Welfare Board

7. State Advisory Contract Labour Board

Directorate of Employees’ Compensation Court

The Office of the Commissioner, Employees’ Compensation is the statutory authority for implementation of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923. The overall duty of the office is to realize compensation from the employers concerned and to disburse the same to the injured workmen or the dependants of the deceased workmen.

Directorate of Industrial Tribunals & Labour Courts

While the administration of various labour laws are carried out by the different directorates, considerable number of disputes arising out of the administration of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947; the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 and the Working Journalists (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1955 requires adjudication by Industrial Tribunals and Labour Courts.

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