Women and Labour Laws

The interests of women employees in our nation are safeguarded by the constitution and other legal measures. These clauses, as well as subsequent developments in this field, including legislative changes and other welfare initiatives, will be explained in the unit. The course will also examine the issues that women face in relation to the labor regulations of the nation. Additionally, it will briefly discuss the problems and obstacles facing women in the workforce, as well as how the government and civil society may help pull them out of poverty and improve their working conditions.

Labour Laws for working Women

A unique level of protection for women employees is provided by Articles 39 and 42 of the Indian Constitution's Directive Principles of State Policy.

  • Article 15(3) of the Fundamental Rights (of Indian Constitution) provides the necessary protection for such special measures for women and children.

  • Article 39(a) states that men and women equally have the right to an adequate means to livelihood.

  • Article 42 gives State guidelines that on humane conditions of work and maternity relief, the State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.

  • Article 46, which commands the state to take special care to advance the economic and educational interests of the poorer groups of the population, is also viewed as a direction to enhance the employment prospects and working conditions for women.

Women who work in factories, mines, plantations, etc. are protected and provided for in accordance with specific provisions in various labor regulations.

  • Factories Act, 1948: The Factories Act is a piece of legislation pertaining to labor welfare, and it lays forth policies to be followed for young people's and women's employment as well as their health, safety, and welfare, as well as their working conditions and leave policies. In addition, specific protections for women have been added to the Act in consideration of their delicate personalities.

  • The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948: The Employees' State Insurance Act, one of India's most significant pieces of social legislation, was passed to offer a variety of benefits in a variety of situations. According to this Act, insured female employees receive the same benefits as covered male employees for sickness, disability, medical expenses, and funeral costs. In addition to these benefits, covered women workers also receive maternity benefits in the event of specific pregnancy-related events, such as confinement, miscarriage, illness that arises during pregnancy, early birth of a child or miscarriage, and death. The length of the maternity benefit accessible to insured women in the event of maternity is 12 weeks, not to exceed 6 weeks, of which may come before the anticipated date of confinement.

    According to a plan established by the 1948 Employees' State Insurance Act, both the employer and the employee are required to give an agreed-upon portion of their monthly salary to the Insurance Corporation, which operates hospitals and pharmacies in working-class neighborhoods. It promotes both outpatient and inpatient care, allows for the unrestricted dispensing of medications, and pays for hospitalization expenses. Health-related leave certificates are sent to the employer, who is required to honor them. Compensation for work-related illnesses and injuries is provided in accordance with a schedule of rates based on the severity of the illness or injury and the loss of earning ability. In contrast to the Workmen's Compensation Act, payment is made monthly.

  • The Maternity Benefit Act: The Maternity Benefit Act was amended to decrease inequities and introduce uniformity to the rates, eligibility requirements, and length of maternity benefits. The Mines Maternity Benefit Act of 1941, the Bombay Maternity Benefit Act of 1929, the maternity protection under the Plantation Labour Act of 1951, and all other provincial laws dealing with the same subject are repealed by the Act.

    Except as otherwise stated in Sections 5A and 5B of the Act, the Employee's State Insurance Act of 1948's provisions do not apply to factories or other establishments. The Act aims to give maternity benefits and other benefits, as well as restrict the employment of women in particular institutions at specific times before and after childbirth.

The importance of improving maternal rights in the following areas was stressed during the International Labor Organization's sixth session in 1975:

  • The expansion of maternity leave benefits to new groups of female employees,

  • Extending the duration of the required or mandated maternity leave,

  • More lenient guidelines for additional or longer leave throughout a child's early years, increased maternity benefit rates,

  • More effective safeguards against termination during and after childbirth,

  • More support for breastfeeding and more opportunities for nursing pauses

  • More attention should be paid to pregnant women's health and safety.

  • Daycare centers are established by government or social security programs to care for newborns and children of working parents.

In the case of Municipal Corporation of Delhi v Female Workers, according to the Supreme Court, both daily-pay and casual employees are eligible for the maternity benefit. The issue at hand concerned whether maternity benefits were available to municipal corporation muster roll staff, who are hourly and casual workers. There is nothing in the Maternity Benefit Act that restricts access to maternity leave to just regular female employees and excludes those who work irregular hours or on muster rolls paid on a daily basis.

  • The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976: Equal pay for equal labor for men and women is a crucial issue that greatly concerns employees in general and society as a whole. It was often believed that because women are physically weaker than men, they should be paid less for the same job. Women all over the world were extremely intelligent and willing to accept lower pay even when doing the same jobs as men until recently.

    To make this constitutional clause effective The Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 was passed to guarantee equal pay for work performed by men and women and to prohibit sexism against women in the workplace.


The research referenced above reaches the conclusion that the status of women in society is a precise indicator of how society is progressing. Today, women work in fields like agriculture, plantation work, beedi, crafts, domestic work, etc., but sadly, there are many reasons why they lag behind men, including social attitudes, traditions, customs, marriage, gender-based division of labor, a lack of confidence, and sexual harassment fears.

Women who work encounter issues such as inadequate pay, discrimination, and abusive working circumstances. The conclusion drawn from this is that the precarious working and living situations of women cannot be remedied until they are given special protection and the governments have given the matter the attention it deserves. The needs of women have received special consideration in the Indian Constitution in order to allow them to exercise their rights on an equal basis with men and take part in national development. There will be no discrimination based on race, religion, sex, caste, or color, among other factors, and all citizens will have equal opportunity for growth and development.


Q1. Why are women's laws important?

Ans. It stresses that gender equality is an issue of human rights, a requirement for social justice, and an essential and basic precondition for equality, progress, and peace.

Q2. What are the six points included in women's right?

Ans. Political, occupational, moral, social, economic, and legal equality for women later developed out of these six general principles of equality.

Q3. What women's rights are protected by law?

Ans. These include the freedom from violence and discrimination, the best possible level of physical and mental health, the right to an education, the right to own property, the right to vote, and the right to a living income.

Q4. What are the laws relating to employment?

Ans. The Payment of Wages Act, the Equal Remuneration Act, the Payment of Bonus Act, and a few other laws are likely to be combined. The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, the Trade Unions Act of 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act of 1946 will all be combined into the Labour Code on Industrial Relations.