what are the measures that can be taken to improve the working conditions?quote few examples from large industrial units
What are the measures that can be taken to improve the working conditions?
Quote few examples from large industrial units.
Guidelines for Measures to Be Taken by Employers for the Creation of Comfortable Working Environments
Recent rapid advancements in technology have led to major changes in working environments. Other factors such as the shift to an information and service economy and the increasing globalization of corporate activities have led to changing work patterns, broader employment areas, and other changes for individual workers. These recent changes in workplace environments have created new issues such as employment-related fatigue and stress among workers.
economic prosperity has led to a shift in awareness among the people from material prosperity to an increasing emphasis on spiritual prosperity. Along with the increasing awareness regarding health issues, this has resulted in further emphasis on comfortable workplaces such as a desire to reduce physical and mental burdens caused by heavy labor as well as a need to shorten working hours.
Furthermore, an analysis of the employment structure in Japan reveals a higher ratio of middle-aged and elderly persons in workplaces resulting from the aging of Japan's workforce population, as well as a higher percentage of female workers due to increasing female participation in a wide range of employment categories. These changes in the nation's employment structure require an effort to create working environments that incorporate improved work methods, etc.
These changes in the employment structure have also resulted in a critical importance attached to the creation of comfortable working environments that reduce the fatigue and stress placed on workers by the workplaces where much of their time is spent. In addition, creating comfortable working environments will also contribute to better utilization of the capabilities of workers and further vitality in workplaces.
Based on the aforementioned idea, in regard to measures to be taken by employers for the creation of comfortable working environments, these Guidelines stipulate the goals of the creation of comfortable working environments, measures to be taken by employers in order to create comfortable working environments suitably and effectively, and matters that should be taken into account for the implementation of those measures. These Guidelines are designed to promote voluntary efforts by employers, with the aim of contributing to the creation of comfortable working environments.
I. The goals of the creation of comfortable working environments
Employers are encouraged to create comfortable working environments through the following approach:
1. Control of working environments
In cases where working environments such as the air environments and thermal conditions are inappropriate because of dirty air, hot or cold temperatures at work, inadequate illumination, etc., workers' fatigue and stress may increase. To cope with this problem, efforts should be made to exercise proper control over discomfort factors in working environments such as airborne dust, offensive odors, improper workplace temperatures or inadequate illumination.
2. Improvements in work methods
Work usually gives physical and mental stress to workers. When it comes to work that requires an unnatural posture and great muscular strength in particular, such stress becomes enormous. Thus, improvements in work methods for such stressful work should be undertaken in order to reduce workers' physical and mental burdens.
3. Installation and maintenance of facilities and equipment for the lessening of workers' physical and mental fatigue
There is the need to have workers recover from the physical and mental fatigue caused by their work as quickly as possible. For this, efforts should be made to install or improve such facilities as resting rooms, which are designed to allow workers to recover from their physical and mental fatigue.
4. Maintenance and control of other facilities and equipment
Hand-washing rooms, toilets and other facilities and equipment, which are required for workers' comfortable vocational lives, should be maintained and controlled in a clean and accessible state.
II. Measures to be taken by employers in order to create comfortable working environments
Employers should carry out the following measures in order to create comfortable working environments:
1. Measures for the maintenance and control of comfortable working environments
(1) Air environments
Take necessary measures to maintain and control indoor workplaces so that workers may not experience a sense of discomfort about airborne dust, offensive odors, etc., in the air environments. If necessary, take measures against smoking, such as designating places for smoking in workplaces. At outdoor workplaces where airborne dust or offensive odors are constantly generated, it is desirable to take necessary measures to curb their dispersion.
(2) Thermal conditions
Keep the temperature, humidity and other thermal conditions appropriate at indoor workplaces according to the types of work, the seasons, etc. When it comes to outdoor workplaces, it is desirable to take measures for the lessening of the negative impact produced by outside temperature and other factors both in the summertime and the wintertime.
(3) Visual factors
Secure appropriate work illumination of the sort that is appropriate for the work concerned. Take measures so that there will be neither a sharp contrast in luminous intensity nor a disagreeable glare anywhere in the field of vision. When it comes to indoor workplaces, it is desirable to take measures while taking account of lighting, color factors and the features of light sources.
(4) Acoustic factors
Take measures to effectively eliminate noise that comes in from outside offices. Strive to reduce noise levels, for instance, by using less noisy OA equipment, etc., in offices. When it comes to indoor workplaces other than offices, strive to curb noise by covering with sound insulators such machinery and equipment that function as sources of noise in indoor workplaces.
(5) Work space, etc.
Strive to secure appropriate workspace and pathways.
2. Measures for improvements in work methods
(1) When it comes to work in an unnatural posture which constantly produces a heavy burden on the waist, neck or some other part of the body, or the whole body, strive to improve the work methods, for instance, with improvements in machinery and equipment.
(2) In cases where a considerable degree of muscular strength is required for work, such as constant lifting and carrying of heavy cargoes or the handling and operation of heavy machines or equipment, strive to lessen workers' burdens by the introduction of supportive devices or other similar measures.
(3) In cases where work is done at places with high temperature, high humidity, excessive noise, etc., strive to lessen workers' burdens by installing shields against heat and noise, a remote-control system, etc.
(4) When it comes to work that requires retention of high tension or work of the kind in which a specific posture must be retained for a long period of time, strive to lessen workers' burdens by the introduction of devices that mitigate the tension or other similar equipment.
(5) When it comes to routinely used machines and facilities, office equipment, articles of furniture, etc., put up clear signs written in discernible letters, and see to it that work may be readily done, such as with manipulation of the kind that fits the features of the moves required for the work.
3. Installation and maintenance of facilities and equipment designed to lessen work-derived fatigue
(1) Secure resting and other rooms with beds where workers may lie down to recover from fatigue or stress.
(2) In cases where workers heavily perspire or must work in soiled clothes, prepare shower rooms and other body-washing facilities. Keep them clean and readily accessible at all times.
(3) Secure counseling rooms, etc., where workers can consult about their fatigue, stress, etc., at workplace.
(4) Prepare exercise space at workplace to enable workers to do physical exercise. It is also desirable to improve the environment, for instance by developing green tracts of land on the premises.
4. Other measures required to create comfortable working environments
(1) Make sure that toilets, locker rooms and other facilities for workers are clean and readily accessible at all times.
(2) Make sure that company cafeterias and other places where workers take meals have ample space and are kept clean.
(3) It is desirable to secure hot-water supply facilities, conversation rooms, etc., for the benefit of workers.
III. Matters that should be taken into account for the implementation of measures to create comfortable working environments
Employers are encouraged to fully consider the following items, when they carry out necessary measures in order to create comfortable working environments:
1. Continuous and systematic approach
For the creation of comfortable working environments and their appropriate maintenance and control, it is indispensable not only to take measures such as installation of necessary facilities and equipment , but also to take continuous and systematic measures after the installation. Toward this end, there is the need to work for the development of a system to promote abovementioned measures, for instance by designating supervisors in charge of the day-by-day promotion. It is also necessary to take measures such as the preparation of manuals on performance and functions of the facilities for the creation of comfortable working environments so that their functions can be fully utilized at all times. While taking account of such matters as changes in the substance of work and the age composition of workers at workplaces and also the evolution of technology which is associated with comfortable working environments, the environments of workplaces should be constantly reviewed and, depending on the review, necessary measures should be taken.
2. Reflection of workers' views
Workers are the most susceptible to the effects of their working environments. Therefore, when measures to create comfortable working environments are carried out, there is the need to take measures so that the views of the workers at the workplace may be reflected as thoroughly as possible, for instance by making effective use of safety and health committees.
3. Consideration to differences between individuals
Because there are differences, not to mention those based on his/her age, between individuals concerning the way each worker feels about temperature, lighting and other environmental conditions of the workplace as well as his/her physical and mental burdens, necessary measures should be taken with enough consideration to such differences.
4. Consideration to amenity
There is no need to point out that efficiency and functionality must be fully explored at workplaces. At the certain length of time at their workplaces, the workplaces should be made pleasant as places where the workers lead their daily lives , thus enabling them to reduce their tension.
2. Trace out the implementation of labour welfare practices in India.
The term 'Labour welfare Legislation' is - used to cover all the laws which have been enacted to deal with" employment and non-employment" wages, working conditions, industrial relations, social security and welfare of persons employed in industries.
The need for labour legislation may be summarized as under:
Necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of workers;
Necessary to protect workers against oppressive terms as individual worker is economically weak and has little bargaining power;
To encourage and facilitate the workers in the organization;
To deal with industrial disputes;
To enforce social insurance and labour welfare schemes.
The objectives of labour legislations areΨ two-fold:
Preservation of the health, safety and welfare of workers; and
Maintenance of good relations between employers and employees.
Principles of labour legislation:
. The essence of democracy is ensuring social justice to all sections of the community.
This demands the protection of those who cannot protect themselves.
In modern industrial set-up, workers, left to themselves, are unable to protect their interest.
Therefore, the State has to intervene to help them by granting them freedom of association, the power of collective bargaining and by providing for mediation or arbitration in the case of industrial conflict.
. Legislation based on this principle provides for achievement of definite standards.
Standards in terms of living, position in society etc. of the working population.
These standards for the working class can be achieved by bringing about changes in the Law of our land.
Power to change the Law is exercised by the government.
Existing laws may be amended to meet the changed standards.
Measures have to be provided through legislation to:
Ensure normal growth of industry for the benefit of the nation as a whole;
Satisfy the physical and intellectual needs of the citizens;
Ensure the growth of industrial efficiency such as to adjust the wage system with a view to increase the productivity and prosperity of the workers.
Since its inception, securing minimum standards (for the working population worldwide) on a uniform basis in respect of all labour matters has been the main objective of ILO.
To this end, conventions are passed at the conferences of ILO.
As a member of the ILO, adopting these conventions would require appropriate legislation to be brought about.
The influence of international labour conventions has been significant in shaping the course of labour legislation in India
The organisation I am referring to
The organization, I am familiar with is a
-a large manufacturer/ marketer of safety products
-the products are used as [personal protection safety] [ industrial safety]
-the products are distributed through the distributors as well as sold directly
-the products are sold to various industries like mining/fireservices/defence/
as well as to various manufacturing companies.
-the company employs about 235 people.
-the company has the following functional departments
1.minimum wage as per the government regulations.
2.no discrimination between male/female employees regarding wages.
3.employees receive annually one month salary as bonus.
4.female employees receive all maternity benefits as per the regulations.
5.employees are free to join the trade union.
6.by regulations, all employees are bound to wear safety gears as required.
7.all employees receive safety training, every year.
Labour welfare occupies a place of significance in the industrialdevelopment and economy. It is an important facet of industrial relations, the extra dimension, giving satisfaction to the worker in a way which even a good wage cannot. With the growth of industrialization and mechanization, it has acquired added importance. A happy and contented work force is an asset for the industrial prosperity of any nation. Labour welfare is nothing but the maintenance function of personnel in the sense that it is directed specifically to the preservation of employee health and attitudes. In other words, it
contributes to the maintenance of employee morale. The welfare services in an industry is to improve the living and working conditions of workers and their families because the workers well-being cannot be achieved in isolation of his family
Labour welfare, though it has been proved to contribute to efficiency in production, is expensive. Each employer depending on his priorities gives varying degrees of importance to labour welfare. It is because the government is not sure that all employers are progressive minded and will provide basic welfare measures that it introduces statutory legislation from time to time to bring about some measure of uniformity in the basic amenities available to industrial workers. "Obviously, there is some creation and stimulation in the maintenance function just as there is some maintenance in all other operative personnel functions. But the primary emphasis in employee
programme has been on maintaining an employees favourable attitude towards his work and work environment"." . . today, welfare has been generally accepted by employers. The state only intervenes to "widen the area of applicability".
it is social security measures that contribute to improve the conditions under which workers are employed in India. it as an "expression of the assumption by industry of its responsibility for its employees".
though industrial workers are generally better paid, their conditions of work, and often poorer living conditions necessitate more than minimum amenities, and hence most statutory legislations apply to them.
In a resolution in 1947, the ILO defined labour welfare as "such services, facilities and amenities as adequate canteens, rest and recreation facilities, arrangements for travel to and from work, and for the accommodation of workers employed at a distance from their houses, and such other services, amenities and facilities as contribute to improve theconditions under which workers are employed.
The welfare measures influence the sentiment of the workers andcontribute to the maintenance of industrial peace.
Labour welfare is, thus,one of the major determinants of industrial relations. Apart from improved morale and loyalty welfare measures are of significance to reduce absenteeism and labour turnover in industries. Whatever improves conditions of work and life for the employee, whatever leads to the increasing adaptation of the worker to hls task and whatever makes him well contented will lessen his desire or need to leave. One of the thrust areas in the personnel in future would be the creation of the type of organizational environment that will helpto make work more s a t i s fying .
Welfare measures also serve to enhance an organizations image as acaring employer. This image can be very usehl to organizations in recruiting the workers. Social advantage of labour welfare is by no means less important than economlc ones The provision of canteen, where balanced diet is available at subsidized rates, improves workers health, entertainments tend to reduce the incidence of vices; medical aid and maternity benefits improve the health of workers and bring down the rates of general, maternal and infant mortality and like wise educational facilities broaden their outlook and improve mental health. The welfare measures have more relevance in the context of the poor standard of livins of the Indian working class. It is, therefore, one major aspect of national programmes towards the promotion of the welfare of the people and is as such designed to create a life and work environment of decent comfort for working class. As stated already, the directive principles ofstate policy in our constitution have very significantly highlighted the need for
securing just and humane conditions of work for this vital segment of the community.
Objectives of Labour Welfare There could be multiple objectives in having a labour welfare programme. The concern for improving the lot of the workers, a philosophy ofhumanitarianism or what is now termed as internal social responsibility, afeeling of concern, a caring by providing some of lifes basic amenities,besides the basic pay packet. Such caring is supposed to build a sense ofloyalty on the part of the employee towards the organization. The humanitanan approach has given way to a more practicalutilitarian approach. The utilitarian approach views investment in welfarethrough an economic framework where the possible cost benefit to theorganization gains greater concern through improved or quicker services fromthe employees. "The welfare package by taking care of the basics of living, frees theworker to devote his time and attention to the organizational task and thusenhance efficiency and output. An attractive package, which provides benefitsthroughout the course of an employees career, serves to attract and retain thebetter workers and simultaneously enhance their morale. The organization is also eligible to certain tax concessions by spending on employee welfare".
Approaches to Labour Welfare
Welfare 1s a dynamic concept and so it needs to be constantly adaptedto the changing circumstances. This is a truism in the industrial system aswell. For example the first approach was the paternalistic approach. Thisapproach to labour welfare can be traced back to the begnning of the modemindustrial system when there was hardly any difference between managementand ownership and the owners got first hand information of the living andworking conditions of workers. Some of them, motivated by philanthropic,humanitarian and religious considerations, did much to improve the lot of theworking masses. Though considerable amount of the so called welfare workwas done during the post first world war period; (mainly as a product of thestresses and strains of the war) it was insufficient to result in promotingwelfare as is clear from the following observation of the British Trade Unioncongress Delegation (1927-28). "We became convinced that under the coverof paternalism and benevolence, many unjust conditions of work obtained...and that was not really much, if anythu~g, be said in favour of employees toparsing welfare work as against others who do not.. . . Our general conclusionon welfare work as at present carried on is that it is a delusion and a snare." approach was followed by the industrial Patemal~st~c eficiencyapproach Industrial eficlency approach was an outcome of the growth of big companies which brought about a separation of functions management and of ownership, and increased the distance between the owners and the workers
7. Personal relationship was replaced by impersonal rules. With "bigness" arose the problem of commitment and efficiency, and a solution was attempted by formulating welfare schemes. Thus, philanthropy was substituted by enlightened self-interest. The primary drawback of this approach was that it is the ulterior motive of improving efficiency that guides employers welfare scheme. The latest approach to labour welfare is to conceive it as an integral part of the programme of general welfare. This approach, being a social approach, is neither philanthropic nor with any ulterior motive. It is so designed as an end in itself, to serve as an instrument of socio-economic policy. The objective of labour welfare scheme has at last aims "it serves man, to alleviate the burdens of his struggle for existence and to reduce thehardships of life"2.7.4 Principles of Labour Welfare Labour welfare is not a substitute for low wages and other allowances,nor can it be used as an argument against raising the earnings of workers. Afailure to understand thls basic principle will only make labour welfaremeasures unpopular. The cardinal principle of labour welfare programmes is to ensure thatit serves the real needs of workers concerned. Special classes of workers
8. require special type of welfare services. Proper assessment of needs of theworkers and determination of priorities, thereof, must be done. Workers should be asked to participate in the formulation andadministration of welfare programmes. This is necessary because theprogrammes are meant for them and their participation ensures that thewelfare measures correspond to their needs. It also removes the suspicion ofworkers and the stigma of paternalism. Workers should be free to use or not to use the facilities and arnenit~esprovided Any compuls~on pressure is encroachment upon workers nght to or11veas they please and they will resent it. The cost of welfare schemes must be well estimated and its financingmust be establ~shed a sound basis. Ill-conceived welfare scheme without onadequate consideration of its financing will mean either its failure orconsequent financial strain to the management. It will also unnecessarilycause threat to ~ndustrialharmony since a service introduced once is difficultto be abandoned by the management.7.5 Classification of Labour Welfare Work The classification of labour welfare is based on dividing industrialwelfare measures into three categories.1. Statutory
9. 2. Voluntary3. Mutual Statutory welfare is the product of the coercive power of thegovernment. Statutory stipulations compel employers to implement welfareschemes. The government enacts rules in regard to labour welfare in order toenforce the mlnimum standard of health and safety of the workers. Employershave to observe the rules relating to working conditions, hours of work,hygiene, safety, light, ventilation, sanitation etc. Government have increasedthe statutory control of labour welfare. Voluntary welfare includes all those activities which employersundertake for their workers on a voluntary basis. There are some socialorganizations, which also undertake voluntary welfare work. Mutual welfareis undertaken by the workers themselves. Some trade unions also undertakethe responsibility of workers welfare. Labour welfare is also classified under intra-mural activities, andextra-mural activities. The former include services provided inside the factorypremises, and the latter include services and amenities outside the factory.
10. 7.6 Welfare Programmes for Organized SectorsI . Sanitaty and Hygienefacilities The maintenance of a clean, sanitary and hygiene work environment isnow accepted as an important basic welfare amenity. These include toiletsand water for dnnking and washng. The factories Act requires that everyfactory must be kept clean and free fiom effective flowing from any draln orprivy; that a sufficient supply of wholesome drinking water must be madeavailable at suitable and convenient points; that separate latrine and urinalsfor male and female workers must be provided; that spitoons must be kept inconvenient places in clean and hygienic conditions, and that adequate,suitable, clean, conve~entlyaccessible and separately screened washingfacilities must be provided for male and female workers.2. Rest jaci1itie.r This amenity provides a prescribed number of seats on the shop floorand rest rooms or shelters. This facility helps to reduce fatigue, as it enables aworker to sit down occasionally without any break in his work and contributeto his comfort and efficiency. The factories Act provides that, for the purposeof rest, suitable sitting arrangements have to be made and maintained for allworkers who are obliged to work standing and rest rooms and lunch rooms ina factory with more than 150 workers.
11. Mess rooms are an elementary feeding facility, where with a fewchairs, and tables and in some cases lockers, workers can sit and eat incomfort, the food they have brought from home. Presently, greater andincreasing importance is attached to the provision of industrial canteens allover the world. The construction of canteens is compulsory as per theFactories Act (1948), the Mines Act (1952), Motor Transport Workers Act(1 961) and the Plantation Labour Act (1951). Health care for workers will help to reduce the incidence of sicknessand, absenteeism among them and increase productivity The importance ofindustrial health care in general has also been emphasized by the internationallabour organization. In 1931, the Royal Commission on Labour and theLabour Investigation Committee (1946) underlined the necessity forproviding basic health and welfare amenities. The importance of industrial health service is greater in India thanelsewhere because of the adverse effects of unhealthy work environment inmany factories and also due to the incidence of tropical diseases, long hoursof work, low wages causing malnutrition and poor stamina; illness of workersdue to ignorance and poverty and urban wnhtions of life which do not agreewith migrated workers." These services include health and medical facilities
12. inside and outside the workers place of work, intra-mural health amenitiescover first aid, ambulance rooms, industrial hygiene, occupational health, andemergency medical care in case of accidents or sudden illness inside factorypremises. The IL0, in its conventions and recommendations, has laid downstandards, whlch have had a contributory effect on legislation in 1ndia.l4Thefactories act ( l 948) contains statutory provision for the maintenance of firstaid kit for all factories and ambulance room obligatory for those employing500 or more workers. Further, statutory medical facilities were providedunder the Employees State Insurance Act, (1948). This Act extends thefollowing benefits to industrial workers (1) maternity benefits (ii) disablementbenefits (iii) dependents benefits (iv) sickness benefits and (v) medicalbenefits. Medical care and cash benefits are provided to workers for suchreasons as sickness, maternity and disablement and death or injury due toemployment. The families of workers are also covered to some extent underthis Act.5. Occ~r/~utional Health Services Thesc are essentially preventive schemes very common in theindusmally advanced western countries and are gaining in importance andrecognition in large sized undertalangs in India. One of the main functions of
13. these health servlces is to protect workers against the health hazards arisingout of the nature of their work or the work environment. The service includescarrying out of periodical medical checks of certain categories of workers todetect early signs of ill-health and prevent the outbreak of serious healthcomplaints. Section 87 of the Factories Act refers to dangerous occupationsand states that the state government is empowered to make rules in respect ofany or all classes of factories in whch any operation exposes persons toserious risks of bodily, injury, poisoning or disease. Tremendous growth in population has increased thc strength of thelabour force and created a number of economic problems, including theproblem of unemployment and industrial unrest. A great deal of attention has,therefore, been paid to family planning programmes for industrial workers.The ILO Resolution of 1947 has included family planning as an integral partof labour welfare. The importance of this programme at international levelwas brought out by the international labour conference at its Geneva sessionin 1966. The Factories Act lays down that in any factory with more than 50women workers, a creche should be provided and maintained for childrenunder six years in a clean and sanitary condition. The Act states that the
14. creche should be under the care of women trained in child care and shouldhave adequate accommodation, lighting and ventilation. The state governmentis empowered to make rules in respect of standards, equipment and facilities. Flousing is an integral part of workers welfare. Recommendation 1 15of the 1LO states that housing should be a matter of national policy. Both thelndustnal Commission (1918) and the Royal Commission (1913) realized theimportance and necessity of improving housing conditions of industrialworkers and made recommendations for the purpose. Transport facilities to and from the place of work are given to workersas one of the desirable welfare amenities. This facility is gaining in popularitybecause of growing urbanization, location of industries, transport loads andtrat5c congest~on.The main purpose of this amenity is to enable workersreach their place of work without undue delay or fatigue. Recreation is a leisure time activity which is a healthy diversion and aspare-time occupation. It refreshes an individual mentally, lessens themonotony and drudgery of his every day work, and develops his personalityon a wholesome basis.
15. Education facilities form another important welfare programme forindustrial workers. Education would improve the quality of the labour force,for it would provide opportunities for a proper training for the acquisition ofskills and techniques which are essential for workers in an industry and whichwill enable them to adjust themselves to their particular way of life, and toenable them to acquire broader values of life, personally, industrially andsocially The need and importance of such educational facilities in India havebeen accepted and emphasized by various commissions and committees, suchas Indian Industrial Commission (1958) the Royal Commission on Labour(1 93 l), the National Commission on Labour (1966), the Malaviya Committeeon Labour Welfare (1969) etc. Yet, there is no statutory obligation withregard to education for workers children in any industry except inplantations.12. Co-operative and Saving Facilities In the context of spiralling prices and the rising cost of living, theimportance of fair price shops and supply schemes cannot be over-emphasized. Though these supply schemes and shops can be operated by theemployer himself, it 1s the co-operative method which has been found to be
16. desirable and has been recommended again and again by various committeesand conventions. The co-operative credit societies also help the worker to save forunforeseen domestic crises. By means of this sewice workers are able to receive advice andcounsel on some of the personnel and sometimes also on personal problemsinsidc and outside their place of work. A trained social worker is usuallyappointed for this purpose. Counselling helps a workers to overcome hisanxiety and troubles. There are many non-statutory welfare amenities available to industrialworkers, depending on the importance the employer attaches to these benefits.One is an ex-gratis payment called Distress Relief and cash benefits paid incase of death, injury, sickness, marriage or as a felicitation grant. It is a giftmade by the employer to his workers. The C.L.W. has recommended thatworkers and employers should work out a mutually acceptable formula forsuch benefits and that State Labour Welfare Board should earmark a portionof their fund to help small-scale units.
17. 7.7 Social Security Measures Social security forms an important part of labour welfare providing the"security" wh~chis of great importance to the workers and their familieswell-being. The concept of social security measure is well reflected in theILO definition. "It can be taken to mean the protection which society providesfor its members, through a series of public measures, against the economicand social distress that otherwise would be caused by the stoppage orsubstantial reduction of earnings resulting from sickness, maternity,employment injury, unemployment, invalidity, old age and death; theprovision of medical care, and the provision of subsidies for families withchildren " The concept of social security varies fiom country to country withdifferent political ideologies. In the socialist countries, the avowed goal iscomplete protection to every citizen f?om the cradle to the grave. L other nnations with less regimented economics, a measure of protection is affordedto all the needy citizens by means of schemes evolved by democraticprocesses consistent with the resources of the state. The social security(minimum standards) convention (No.102) adopted by the ILO in 1952defines the nine branches of social security benefit: They are1. Medical care2. Sickness benefit
18. 3 . Unemployment benefit4. Old age benefit5 . Employment injury benefit6. Family benefit7. Maternity benefit8. Invalidity benefitII,O anJ Sociul Security The International Labour Organization was founded in 1919 for theprimary purpose of promoting social justice and improving the living andworking conditions of workers throughout the world. It made a beginning inthis field by emphasizing the importance of comprehensive social securitymeasures in the preamble to its constitution, in which it promised "protectionof the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of hisemployment, the protection of children, young persons and women, provisionfor old age and ~ r l j u r y ~ In order to implement the measures the ILO took certain steps ( l ) Ittried to create international standards by way of recommendations regardingthe definitions of social security (2) It collected and spread the informationabout soctal security schemes in various countries (3) It provided t e c h c a lassistance and suidance so that social security schemes may be properlyformulated by means of co-operation with other social organizations, Twenty-nine conventions and twenty-seven resolutions passed by ILO refer to social
19. security The 1LO researches, publications, studies and reports have allunderlined the importance of social security.7.8 Social Security in India The following legislative measures have been adopted by thegovernment of India by way of social security schemes for industrial workers.I. Workmens (:ompen.saiionAct 1923 Under the Act, compensation is payable by the employer to workmenfor all personal injuries caused to him by accident arising out of and in thecourse of his employment which disable hlm for more than three days. If theworkman dies, the compensation is to be paid to his dependents.11. /<n:ployee Stale I~nurance Act, 1948 Under the Act, an insured person is entitled to receive benefits such asmedical benefit, sickness benefit, maternity benefit, disablement benefit,dependents benefit, funeral benefit etc.Ill. The I<mployee.~ Provident Fzinds and Mi.sce1laneozr.s irovovisiotz~Act, l952 The Act has made schemes for three types of benefits viz, providentfund, family person and deposit linked insurance.
20. Ilndcr the Act gratuity is payable to an employee on the termination ofhis employment after he has rendered continuous service for not less then tiveyears. f i e completion of continuos service of five years is, however, notnecessary where the termination of the employment is due to death ordisablement.V. Me l~ld?cstnal i)~s/~wte I947 Act Under the Act, a retrenched worker is entitled to compensation at therate of 15 days average earning for every completed years of service or partthereof When the closure of the undertaking is due to circumstances beyondthe control of the employer, compensation is limited to the maximum of threemonths average earnings.VI. Maternity Benefits Acts, 1961 The Act applies to women in factories, mines and otherestablishments. Tnis Act replaced the Mines Act and it was adopted by mostof the states. It does not apply to those covered by the ESI schemes. VII. Coal Mine.s lrovident Fzmd Bontrs Scltente Arr I948 It applies to workers employed in the coal mines (including theNational Coal [levelopment Corporation ) earning less than Rs.300 permonth. The Bonus scheme applies to all those earning less than Rs.7301- per
21. month in coal mines other than the NCDC and is paid entirely by theemployers.VIIl. The Seaman .F Irovideni fimd Act 1966 Under t h ~ s workers contribution of 8 percent with an equalcontribution from the employers and are entitled to a full refund on retirementor after 15 years of membership.IX The Ilantation Labour Act I951 The benefits statutorily provided under this Act include the provisionof drinking water and its conservancy, medical facilities, canteen in the easeof 150 or more workers, creches in case of 50 or more women workers,recreational fac~lities, umbrellas, blankets and rain coats. Cash benefits in thecase of sickness and maternity are also available to the workers as per rulesprescribed by the state governments which also lay down qualifyingconditions.X Employees lfirmily Pension Scheme, 1971 The family pension seeks to provide some monetary relief to the familymembers of employees, who die in service, that is, before superannuation. Inthe event of an employees death his family gets pension on a graded scaledepending on the employees last salary grade.
22. 7.9 Recent Trends Whlle most employers offer a vanety of benefits to employees,employees very rarely have any cholce in the benefits they recelve Employeebenefits are generally selected for employees by management One studyfound that unlon representatlves d ~ d have a good Idea of the benefits notdeslred by thelr constituents" Another study found that when glven theopportunity, 80 percent of the respondents were in favour of changes In thelr IXbenefits packages In the l~yht the above findings the recent "cafeteria style" approach ofto benefit represents a major step in the evolution of employee benefits basedon age, sex, number of children family status, life style and preferences.Under this system, each employee is allowed to select on individualcombination of benefits within some over all limits. There are two importantadvantages to a cafeteria style approach. First, it allows employees to have thebenefits, they need and desire most, second, by their active involvement inbenefits selection, employees become more aware of the benefits they haveand of their cost". But at times an in appropriate benefit package may bechosen by employees.20 Labour welfare services is an important personnel functlon in abusiness. The earlier view of considering labour as nothing more than afactor of production had changed over the years and now welfare for theemployees holds a place of importance in the minds of every employer.
23. The eftectlve utilization of other factors of production depends on theefficiency of human factor. The worker spends more than a quarter of his lifein his working place. Therefore the workers has every right to demand thatthe condition under which he works should be reasonable and provides propersafeguards for life and health. The amount of dedication, quality of work,commitment to the organisation, morale etc. are all determined by the typeand amount of welfare a worker receives. In Kerala the organised factory workers are in a better position as faras welfare is concerned because they are provided with various statutory andnon-statutory welfare services. The factories Act, East Act, PF Act, GratuityAct, Workmens Compensation Act etc. contain several measures with a viewto provide reasonably good working conditions to protect the health of theworkers and to ensure a good future to them. The successive Governments inKerala have introduced a large number of social security and welfare schemesfor the workers to attain the goal of a welfare states.7.10 Benefits and Welfare Schemes for the Employees of MRF, HNL, Kottayam Textiles, Travancore Cements Ltd.Welfare Schemes for the Employees o f MRF At the registered office as well as the manufacturing units subsidisedlunch/meals are prov~ded all thekmployees. The subsidy given to a workers toper month is close to Rs. 500/-.
24. In add~tlonto the weekly off there are also fixed number of Nationaland Festival holidays. An employee during his training period is eligible for:- 4 days casual leave per calendar year and 8 days sick leave per calendaryear. On confirmation he is eligible for 28 days privilege leave per calendaryear. Casual leave can be taken a maximum of three days at a time. Foravailing sick leave exceeding two days, a medical certificate will have to besubmitted. Privilege leave can be availed subject to a restriction of maximumthrice in a calendar year. Slck leave, privilege leave or compensatory off cannot be combinedwith casual leave. However, privilege leave can be combined with sick lavein case of prolonged illness. The ESI is compulsorily applicable to employees drawing monthlyemoluments not exceeding Rs. 6,500/-. This coverage helps the employee getfree medical treatment or hospitalization. The ESI contribution per monthlyemoluments is 1.75% and the company makes a contribution of 4.75%. AnESI identity card is Issued which has to be produced at the dispensary whilegoing for treatment.
25. Medical REIMBURSE
Employees who are not covered under the ESI scheme will bereimbursed medical expenses as per the companys scheme. Such employeesare covered under a hospitalization insurance scheme with United IndiaInsurance Co. Ltd. All accidents, whether on duty or otherwise are taken careof, since there is 24 hours coverage.Mm- Family Welfare Centre The wives of all the staff are encouraged to become members of theMRF family welfare centre. The objectives of this centre are:( l ) To make the wives and children feel that they are a part of the MRF family.(2) To encourage their participation in the family welfare activity.(3) To meet as a forum to nurture their talent and interests.(4) A family welfare co-ordinator who is assisted by a committee consisting of the general managers spouse, the plant personnel manager and other elected members manage the centre. These centres organize monthly activities in line with the MRF ladiesforum. However, emphasis is given to:- Self developmental programmes
26. - Hcalth programmes like eye, dental and gynecoloyical camps with follow- L I facilit~es. ~- Economic activities to enable spouses also to earn and augment the fam~ly lncome and recreational activities. These centres also organize programmes for the children, which includecareer guidance, educational camps, sports and recreational activities. Theactivities of all the family welfare centres are overseen by the director,welfare. The MRF House Magazine titled "Entirely Yours is published andsent to the residence of the employees once every quarter. The objective of themagazine is to establish a communication link with all the members of theMRF family spread across the country. The magazlne contains information about the company, industryactivities of the recreation club, ladies forum etc.Labour Welfare Measures in Kottayam Textiles and TravancoreCements Limited and Hindustan Newsprint Limited, Kottayarn Only for permanent workers, subsidized food is given, companies paya huge amount as subsidy, every month.
27. Reimbursement of medical expenses to the employees and theirfamilies is provided. In H.N.L, there is the facility of a hospital in thecompound with four doctors. Travelling allowances are given and the companies provide buses tocarry the workers f?om and upto main stations.Employee Welfare J;und There are employee welfare funds also inorder to meet the emerging needs of the workers.Tour J;h.cilitie.s to the Employees Subsidized tour facilities to the employees under Kerala state employees welfare fund. Company buses are made available for such tours at nominal rates.Drinking Water Water coolers are provided at all the plants and in all the offices Residential
Residential quarters are provided to the employees.