Various statutory welfare activities
Statutory welfare measures mainly include welfare facilities provided within the precincts of an industrial establishment. They form part of the employers‟ statutory obligations. All welfare states provide welfare to the labour by securing and protecting social order to ensure social, economic and political justice.
PROVISIONS REGARDING THE WELFARE OF WORKERS
Washing. In every factory adequate and suitable facilities for washing shall be provided and maintained. They shatI be conveniently accessible and shall be kept clean. There must be separate provisions for male and female workers.-Sec. 42.
Storing and drying. The State Government may make rules requiring the provision of suitable facilities for storing and drying clothing.-Sec. 43.
Sitting. Sitting facilities must be provided for workers who have to work in a standing position. so that they may take rest when possible. When work can be done in a sitting position efficiently the Chief Inspector may direct the provision of sitting arrangements. Sec. 44.
First aid. Every factory must provide first aid boxes or cupboard. They must contain the prescribed materials and they must be in charge of persons trained in first aid treatment. Factories employing more than 500 persons must maintain an ambulance roam containing the prescribed equipment and in charge of the prescribed medical and nursing staff-Sec. 45.
Canteens. Where more than 250 workers are employed. the state Government may require the opening of canteen or canteens for workers. Rules may be framed regarding the food served. its management etc.,..-Sec.
Shelters. In every factory where more than 150 workers are employed there must be provided adequate and suitable shelters or rest. rooms and a lunch room (with drinking water supply) where workers may eat meals brought by them. Such rooms must be sufficiently lighted and ventilated and must be maintained in a cool and clean condition~. The standards may be fixed by the State Government. -Sec. 47
Creches. In every factory where more than 30 women a employed, a room shall be provided for the use of the children (below 6 years) of such women. The room shall be adequate size. well lighted and ventilated, maintained in a clean and sanitary condition and shall be in charge of a woman trained in the care of children and infants. The standards shall be laid down by the State Government.Sec. 48.
Welfare officers. Welfare officers must be appointed in every factory where 500 or more workers are employed. The State Government may prescribe the duties, qualifications etc. of such officers. Sec. 49.
Rules. The State Government may make rules regarding the welfare of workers.-Sec. 50.
NON STATUTORY SCHEMES
Many non statutory welfare schemes may include the following schemes:
Personal Health Care (Regular medical check-ups)
Some of the companies provide the facility for extensive health check-up
The main objective of the flextime policy is to provide opportunity to employees to work with flexible working schedules. Flexible work schedules are initiated by employees and approved by management to meet business commitments while supporting employee personal life needs
Employee Assistance Programs
Various assistant programs are arranged like external counseling service so that employees or members of their immediate family can get counseling on various matters.
To protect an employee from harassments of any kind, guidelines are provided for proper action and also for protecting the aggrieved employee.
Maternity & Adoption Leave
Employees can avail maternity or adoption leaves. Paternity leave policies have also been introduced by various companies.
Medi-claim Insurance Scheme
This insurance scheme provides adequate insurance coverage of employees for expenses related to hospitalization due to illness, disease or injury or pregnancy.
Employee Referral Scheme
In several companies employee referral scheme is implemented to encourage employees to refer friends and relatives for employment in the organization.
5 Different Categories of Labour Welfare
Some of the major categories of labour welfare are: (1) Intra-mural Facilities (2) Extra-mural Facilities (3) Statutory Facilities (4) Mutual Facilities and (5) Voluntary.
It is very difficult to classify the welfare activities into certain broad categories.
(1) Intra-mural Facilities:
The facilities provided inside the factory are known as intra-mural facilities. These facilities include activities relating to minimisation of industrial fatigue, provision of safety measures like fencing and covering of machines, good layout of the plant and machinery, sufficient lighting conditions, provision of first aid appliances etc.
Provisions of such facilities are also obligatory in all industrial establishments all over the world.
(2) Extra-mural Facilities:
Facilities offered to the workers outside the factory are known as extra-mural facilities. They include better housing accommodations, indoor and outdoor recreation sports, educational facilities etc. The provision of these facilities is voluntary. Earlier, due attention was not given to the provision of extra-mural facilities to the workers but now it is realised that these facilities are very important for the general welfare and upliftment of the workers.
(3) Statutory Facilities:
Under this category, welfare facilities are provided according to the labour legislations passed by the Government. The nature and coverage of these facilities vary from country to country. Again these facilities may be either intra-mural facilities or extra-mural facilities. These facilities must be provided by all the employers and cannot be ignored. Any contravention of the statutory provisions shall render the employer punishable under the Act concerned.
The National Commission of Labour has divided all the statutory measures under two distinct heads:
1. Facilities which have to be provided irrespective of the size of the establishment e.g., drinking water.
2. Facilities which are to be provided subject to the employment of a specified number of persons, e.g., creches.
(4) Mutual Facilities:
These facilities are usually outside the scope of the statutory facilities. These activities are voluntarily undertaken by the workers themselves for their own interest. As such the employer has no say in it.
The facilities which are voluntarily provided by the employers come under this category. Hence these are not statutory. No doubt, the activities under this category ultimately lead to increase in the efficiency of workers.