HRM linkage with Labour laws - “Ignorance of law is not considered in the court of law”



“Ignorance of law is not considered in the court of law”

The meaning of the above statement is that, everybody should know the law of the residing country. Ignorance of law is not accepted by the court. A person because of illiteracy or ignorance can’t say that I don’t know the law.Court shall take action against any person who ever break the law such person is liable for punishment  by the court. Every person should be aware of law weather he is literate or illiterate. 

Labour laws are  backbone for the human resource management, without the involvement of labour law there is no human resource management. There is no validity for the human resource management without following the labour laws, sometimes disobey of labour laws may lead to serious consequences like penalization or sometimes imprisonment or sometimes both basing on the gravity of incident.

Every country legislature has formulated specific laws for the specific purpose. Like Labour laws were formulated for Labour/employees who are employed under any employment by an employer for the purpose of protection of labour or employees against exploitation by their employer. vice versa labour laws lays down certain restrictions on labour or employees against their employer, labour or employees must follow the rules and regulations prescribed by the labour laws, if not they are also liable for punishment or penalty by the court.

Every HR manager must know the labour laws of that country where he is working, because most of the core HR functions are linked and according to the labour laws of concerned country. Managing human resources without following labour laws may be illegal and in some increases it may be serious offence which may lead to close down of factory or establishment. There are various functions performed by human resource manager which may be simply called as human resource management. The core functions under human resource management are recruiting, selecting, training, performance appraising, compensating, and attending to labour relations, safety & welfare and health concerns. The above said core functions of human resource management is having in case with the labour laws of that country or state.

Maintaining proper labour relations between the employer & employee and employee & employee is most important fro organization performance. Having the good labour relations improve the productivity and organization overall performance. It is common in any organization arising of disputes within. Minimizing them is most important and lies in the hands of the HR department, so that good human relationship can be established. Solving the disputes aroused in the organization is done in accordance to the law of industrial dispute act 1947.

Welfare, safety and health measures are very important and must be maintained and implemented by every organization towards its employes. This is in accordance with the factories act 1948.

Every human resource manager should know and have through knowledge about the labour laws. Many of the human resource functions are based on the labour laws and should be implemented in accordance with the labour laws. Critical issues like disputes resolving, women employees’ rules and regulations in mining, child labour, and compensation in case of accidents etc. the above said all issues are performed according to the labour laws strictly.

HR managers are having key role in the organizations and are directly related to the employees and having direct access in maintaining and regulated the employees. Hence he should posses the knowledge of the labour laws. There exist many problems between the management and the employees. They should be resolved by HR managers in time. If they are not resolved in time, employee many approach the labour courts, which is very time consuming procedure in fact. When time matters in leads to the cost for the organization. When there is proper knowledge on the labour laws by HR manger he can resolve the conflicts according to laws and can save time.

Employent laws/labour laws are very support to the human resource management. In the sense to the human resource manager. There are various Labour laws mentioned below which are commonly used and supported

  1. Indian factories act 1948.
  2. Child labour act 1986.
  3. Trade unions act 1926.
  4. Industrial disputes act 1947.
  5. Minimum wages act 1948.
  6. Payment of wages act 1936.
  7. Payment of bonus act 1965.
  8. Workmen’s compensation act 1923.
  9. Payment of gratuity act 1972.
  10. Employee state insurance act 1948.

Knowing the Employment Agreement

Although a lawyer drafts the contract, the HR needs to have the necessary knowledge of the service conditions and a clear understanding of what is being offered. The employment agreement is the holy grail for both the employer and employee.

Any rights, obligations, disputes arising out of the employment agreement have to be kept in mind by the HR. They are the ones managing the employees. Therefore, they need to know the terms and conditions assured to the employees and their obligations under the Payments of Bonus Act, Equal Remuneration Act, Payment of Gratuity Act, Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, Employees’ State Insurance Act, Maternity Benefit Act, etc.

The employee will first go to the HR for any day-to-day issues. For instance, the insurance has be to facilitated through HR. Any insurance claim has to be informed to HR before issuance. The HR gets in touch with the insurance agency representative to facilitate the claim payments.

Ensuring a Healthy Working Environment

The HR has to ensure that employees have the necessary amenities, safety, and hygiene at the workplace. The work environment should be conducive to the output. The HR has to ensure that the workplace is adhering to the standards assured under the labour laws.

HR personnel work closely with the employees. They need to be able to ensure a healthy work environment for the employees. The Factories Act 1948, The Shops and Commercial Establishments Act(s) of the respective States generally contain provisions relating to registration of an establishment, working hours, overtime, leave, privilege leave, notice pay, working conditions for women employees, etc.

The HR has to ensure that the work environment is safe for all employees. If female employees are working overtime, there should be suitable transportation provided to them after hours. The HR also looks into providing things like clean premises, hygienic restrooms, etc.

Prevention of Sexual Harassment At Workplace

For a healthy work environment, based on the realistic situations, legislation like Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 are in place. The HR personnel have to be involved in the drafting of the policies and its implementation.

In many companies, mandatory workshops are conducted by HR to create awareness about sexual harassment prevention at workplaces. These workshops help both men and women to recognise the unwelcome advances at work and can avoid them. The employees also learn the process to address such issues.

Due to the nature of such offence, it becomes imperative for the HR to be informed and handle it with sensitivity. There are labour law courses which help HR personnel learn about the nuances of the workplace sexual harassment. Many companies hire HR personnel based on their knowledge of such compliances.

Grievances Redressal

The first person we go to for a minor disturbance to a significant turmoil at work is our HR personnel. They are the ones who keep an eye on the retention failures, nepotism, corruption, etc. HR personnel need to know the laws like Factories Dispute Act, Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, etc. to address the employees’ grievances.

Any grievance of the employee is dealt by the HR personnel first. It can be as small as a request for an ergonomic chair at work, to as severe as a sexual harassment complaint. The HR personnel are the first to hear these grievances. They accordingly guide the employee based on the law and the company’s policies. Then they facilitate the grievance through the different departments and channels, to ensure that the adequate relief is given to the aggrieved employees.

The HR personnel are in a crucial position to address the issue suitably and help avoid any expensive future lawsuits for the company. They are the first responders in a company, and this makes them a crucial aspect of the grievance redressal process. A concerned HR can help calm an employee simply by hearing them out and guiding them accordingly. They are the link between the company and the employee during the whole process.


Facts [+] United States

The federal government requires the following notices be posted in every workplace: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Migrant and Seasonal Agriculture Worker Protection Act, OSHA job safety and health protection, Equal Employment Opportunity Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) was created in response to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1992, and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. These laws gave employees more rights, resulting in increasing numbers of work-related lawsuits based on harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination.


Indian government is planning to make amendments in the labour laws for securing employees especially those who are on contract basis. There has been drastic increase in volume of contract workers a in both the private and public sector, consequently there has been a drastic difference of payments between contract labour and permanent employee. In this regard government is planning to make amendments in Contract Labour act 1970 with the aim to safeguarding interest of contract workers. Further amendment of Key labour laws such as Minimum Wages Act 1948 are in pipeline by the government for the purpose of providing better remuneration for their work.

USA-------------------
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is a 1978 amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act made discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions unlawful. Women affected by pregnancy must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees. Pregnancy discrimination is the fastest growing type of discrimination in the U.S.