Labour Officer

The Factories Act, 1948, provides for the statutory appointment of welfare officer in a factory in which 500 or more workers are employed. The State Government may prescribe the duties, qualifications and conditions of service of officers employed. The functions of a welfare officer include the broad areas of (i) labour welfare (welfare function), (ii) labour administration (personnel function), and (iii) labour relations (conciliation function). The labour welfare function includes advice and assistance in implementing legislative and non-legislative provisions relating to health, safety and welfare, hours of work, leave, formation of welfare committees, etc. The labour administration covers organizational discipline, safety and medical administration, liaison, wage and salary administration, education of workers, etc. the labour relation consists of settlement of disputes, promotion of harmonious labourmanagement relations, etc.
There are employers who have taken the lead and provided a wide variety of welfare
amenities to their employees.
Educational Facilities
Economic and social progress is dependent on the quality of workforce. Education plays
a crucial role in motivating and preparing the workers for constant change and development
that should necessarily happen in industry. The need for imparting necessary education
to workers in India had been emphasized by the Indian Industrial Commission (1918)
and the Royal Commission on Labour (1931). The educated worker is naturally more
receptive and responsible.
Educating the worker's family, especially his children, is essential. It is an investment in
training your future workforce. The Central Workers Education Board conducts classes
for industrial workers. The National Commission on Labour and the interest in educating
workers and running schools for workers' children. However there is no statutory
obligation on any industry to impart education to workers' children except in plantations.
Housing Facilities
Both the Indian Industrial Commission (1918) and the Royal Commission realized the
importance and necessity of improving housing conditions of industrial workers and
suggested various measures. In 1948 the Government of India put forth the Industrial
Housing scheme. The committee on Labour Welfare emphasized the importance of the
role of the State Government in acquiring land near industrial areas and renting houses at
reasonable rates. The National Commission on Labour recommended that the Government
should take the major responsibility for housing. The Government should also use all the
help that employers can provide and that fiscal and monetary incentives should be provided
to employers to make it a viable proposition for them.
Transport Facilities
The growth and expansion of industries has also increased the distance for the worker from his place of residence to his place of work. Transport facilities for workers residing far from the workplace is essential to relieve strain and anxiety. Such facilities will, no doubt also provide greater opportunity for relaxation and reduce the rate of absenteeism. The Committee on Labour Welfare recommended the provision of adequate transport facilities to workers to enable them to reach their workplace without loss of much time and without fatigue. The Committee also recommended that in industrial undertakings where transport services are not provided, some conveyance allowance mutually agreed upon between the employer and the employees, should be paid to the employees. To encourage the employees to have their own conveyance the Committee recommended that the employer should advance loans for purchase of bicycles, scooters, etc.
Recreational Facilities
Recreation in the form of music, art, theatre, sports and games can play an important role in the mental and physical development of your employees. The importance of recreation in creating a healthy climate for industrial peace and progress has been emphasized by several study teams, committees and commissions. The ILO Recommendation on Welfare Facilities adopted in 1956 urged upon the member countries to take appropriate measures to encourage the provision of recreational facilities for the workers in or near the undertaking in which they are employed. These measures should, preferably, be taken in such a way as to stimulate and support action by the public authorities so that the community is able to meet the demand for recreational
facilities. In India; provision of recreational facilities has been made obligatory on employers in
plantations. The committee on Labour Welfare recommended that small units could be lent a helping hand by the State in organizing recreational facilities for its workers in industrial housing colonies. Trade unions could also take the initiative and different agencies could combine their efforts to provide a minimum number of sports and recreational activities to keep the labour force fit and healthy. Excursions can be organized, youths clubs can be formed and holidays homes can be provided for the employees.

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