Laws governing the Factories in India

Laws governing the Factories in India

Factories play a vital role in the economy of country as the complete marketing structure revolves around it. Various legislations are enacted to keep check on the workings of the factories, their policies for workers and labourers working there.

What are applicable laws on factories?

There are various laws which are applicable on factories. The essential provisions of legislations are produced here.

Factories Act, 1948 (hereinafter referred as Act)

The Act provides that any person who needs to establish a factory needs to follow the licensing procedure by seeking approval from the State Government or Chief Inspector with sending details of the site where the factory is to be situated. The licence is deemed to be granted if there is no reply on behalf of authorities within 03 months of sending details by registered post. Moreover, the person seeking license can appeal to the Central Government in case the application is rejected by the State Government and to the State Government if it is rejected from the lower authorities.

What are the general duties of owners of factories regarding health of workers?

This is the general duty of factory owner to keep the premises clean and in healthy working condition. However, the Act specifically provides provisions for ensuring good health of workers such as proper cleaning of floors and other parts, maintenance of factory premises at regular intervals, proper procedure for disposal of waste and effluent if emitted by the factory, adequate ventilation and all the other measures which are necessary for living good health. The Act specifically provides for the dust and fumes in factories where by reason of manufacturing the dust is emitted in normal course of action.

Guidelines for Safety:

The safety of workers is utmost necessary as they are the human capital of factory, therefore, proper initiative has been taken by the government and provisions are incorporated under the Act such as proper fencing of machines, examination of machines at regular intervals, proper protection for eyes must be provided in the factories where there is a risk to the eyes of workers, also the employment of young people on dangerous machines are prohibited, although it is backed by some exceptions.

What basic amenities must be provided by factory owner?

There must be some basic welfare facilities that must be provided by the owner such as:-

  • First aid appliances that must be accessible in all working hours ordinarily 1 box for every 150 members fully equipped with the medical requirements.
  • Canteens should be provided by the factories where price and quality of food should be checked regularly by the authorities.
  • Separate Washrooms should be provided to men and women and the cleanliness must be ensured there.
  • Crèches in the factories where minimum 30 women are employed are mandatory and rooms for the children less than 6 years shall be provided. Moreover, arrangement of refreshment and milk facility must be there.
  • There must be a welfare office where more than 500 people are employed.

What are the working hours in the factory?

The owner of the factory must ensure that no adult worker will work more than 09 hrs in a day or 46 hrs in a week with the break at regular intervals. It should be ensure that where the worker is working in the night shift after midnight the next day will be given off or the hours after midnight should be included in the working hour of next day. There must be a weekly off and if the holiday is substituted notice must be displayed on the notice board of the factory. The provisions for extra wages for overtime are also provided in the legislation itself.

What are the provisions regarding women?

The Act specifically stated provision for the welfare and safety of women. No woman can be engaged in work in between 6 AM to 7 PM whereas these provisions are not applicable to midwives and nurses. Separate washrooms facility must be provided to women and the maternity leave of 12 weeks with wages should be given to the women employed in any work. Moreover it is specifically mentioned in the enactment that no woman can be employed for the work of cleaning and lubricating machines in the factory.

Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923:

Every worker is entitled for the compensation in case of death and disablement. In case of death the compensation between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1, 14,000, in case of permanent disablement Rs. 24,000 to Rs. 70,000, in case of temporary disablement 50% of wages for a maximum period of 05 years can be claimed.

Trade Union, Act, 1926:

Under this piece of legislation all the workers have right to form a trade union and choose their leader to bridge a gap between workers and the management authorities.

Every factory owner must ensure that minimum wages will be provided to all the workers. The minimum wages are fixed by the State authorities.

The Code on Wages, 2019:

Under this enactment, every factory owner needs to follow a schedule for disbursement of wages. The pay can be paid on daily, weekly, fortnight and monthly basis. In case of monthly payment, it must be paid on or before 07th of the following month. Notably, factory owners are not permitted to make payment of wages on yearly or quarterly basis. If any factory worker gets terminated, his/her wages must be paid within 02 days from the termination.

Additionally, every factory owner must ensure that minimum wages will be provided to all the workers. The minimum wages are fixed by the State authorities.

Apart from this, no man and woman can be discriminated on the basis of their gender and the same is provided in The Constitution of India. No discrimination permissible in recruitment and service condition except prohibited under the specific law.


There are numerous labour laws legislations in India, which deals with the welfare of workers as well as the non-exploitation on the work place. Recently, Indian Legislators passed merged 29 labour laws legislations into four codes. Nevertheless, these codes except Codes on Wages, 2019 are not yet implemented. Undeniably, most of the illiterate labours are not aware about their rights and forced to work more than the prescribed time. Initiative should be taken for the proper implementation of laws provided under the legislation.

-Surbhi Singla

Associate at Aggarwals & Associates, S.A.S. Nagar, Mohali