The Factories Act, 1948, sets the safety standards for workers employed in factories. It is applied to factories manufacturing goods, including weaving cloth, knitting of hosiery and other knitwear, clothing, and footwear production, dyeing and finishing textiles, manufacturing footwear, etc.
The Factories Act, 1948, regulates the working hours for all workers. According to the Act, a working week should not exceed 60 hours.
The objectives of this Act are to regulate the hours or working time in factories so that workers are not overworked or unduly exhausted. The Act’s main objectives are also to protect workers’ health and safety.
The Factories Act, 1948, regulates the hours of work and minimum wages
The Factories Act, 1948, mandates the payment of minimum wages to the workers by prescribing a fixed pay rate. An employer shall pay their employees at least the prescribed minimum wage rate. If an employee is paid less than minimum wage, the employer should pay that employee at least what the law requires. This Act reminds employers that any failure on their part to comply with its provisions will have serious legal consequences.
The Act requires employers to allow a weekly holiday to their workers. It further makes it obligatory for the employer to provide proper sanitary facilities and a clean potable water supply in the factory or workplace. Strict action will be taken against the employer if they fail in providing these facilities to the workers.
Employers are also required to set up first aid boxes in their factory, store first aid records, and ensure proper arrangements for transporting injured workers to a hospital or in-house medical facilities.
Apart from these, the Act has several relevant provisions defining the duty of an employer who has in-house medical facilities and the duty of a doctor who is an official medical officer at the factory. The Act also defines the procedure to be followed if a complaint of any kind is received by or made to the government’s labour department.
The Factories Act, 1948, also provides for implementing some administrative measures regarding which subsequent governments have framed appropriate rules.
Some of these measures are as follows:
- The Factory Act, 1948, has provisions for the constitution of a Child Labour Committee in every factory. This committee should consist of employers, workers, representatives from local authorities and a medical officer. The committee is responsible for regulating and controlling employment in the age group of 14 to 18 years at factories where more than 20 persons are employed.
- An industrial dispute between the employer and worker(s) can be resolved by a Conciliation Officer appointed by the government. The authority of this officer is to conciliate and not to mediate.
- The governments appoint labour officers to look after factory workers’ interests; this officer is a government official. The labour officers must see that no violation of any provisions of the Factories Act, 1948, takes place at any factory in their territories.
- The state governments or local authorities have set up welfare funds in every factory. This fund may be established for general or specific purposes depending upon entrepreneurs’ or local authorities’ initiatives.
Objectives of Factories Act, 1948
- To protect the health and safety of workers
- To ensure that factories adhere to global best practices in the factories
- To provide a fair and decent livelihood for all working-class people
- To reduce any social or industrial tensions
Provisions of Factories Act, 1948
Factories Act, 1948, limits work hours to 48 hours a week, and overtime work should not be more than nine hours a day. Factory Schedule Rules specify that a limited working day shall not exceed ten consecutive hours; this regulation does not apply during a public holiday or when an emergency requires immediate action and substantial loss has occurred.
The Factories Act, 1948, sets the safety standards for workers employed in factories. It is applied to manufacturing goods, including weaving, knitting of hosiery and other knitwear, clothing and footwear production, dyeing and finishing textiles, etc.
Period of application
The Factories Act was implemented in India following the general elections held in 1951 for the Legislative Assembly of States and Union Territories that fall under the Indian Union, with effect from June 15, 1951.
The Factories Act, 1948, was further amended in 1951, 1960, 1961, and 1972. In addition to this amendment, the Rules of 1951, 1960, and 1961 have been amended. The Factories Act was applied to the newly formed States in 1965 by the Chief Secretaries of these States.
It applies only to certain factories employing ten or more workers (including apprentices).
The Factories Act was passed in 1948 by the Parliament of India. The Act is landmark legislation aimed at deriving maximum profit for the industrial sector in India. The Factories Act is also known as the Factories (Amendment) Act, 1951, and it has been amended four times since its inception to meet the needs of India’s industrial scenario and business practices. The Factories Act, 1948, falls under the category of Labour Laws in India.
The Factories Act, 1948, repealed the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1956; this Act was applied to factories only employing 20 or more workers.