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Labour Welfare

Introduction to Labour Welfare Labour welfare 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. The worker, both in industry and agriculture, cannot cope with the pace of modern life with minimum sustenance amenities. e needs an added stimulus to keep body and soul together. !mployers have also realized the importance of their role in providing these extra amenities. "nd yet, they are not always able to fulfill workers# demands however reasonable they might be. They are primarily concerned with the viability of the enterprise. Labour welfare, though it has been proved to contribute to efficiency in production, is expensive. !ach employer depending on his priorities gives varying degrees of importance to labour welfare. $t 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. Today, welfare has been generally accepted by employers. The state only intervenes to %widen the area of applicability&. $t is now accepted that it is a social right. Definition of Labour Welfare' The term Labour Welfare has been defined in different ways. $n a broad sense, it means the adoption of measures to promote the physical, social, psychological and general well being of the working people. "ccording to "rther (ames Todd, %Anything done for the comfort and improvement, intellectual and social well being of the employees over and above the wages paid, which is not a necessity of the industry&. "ccording to )roud it refers to %the efforts on the part of the employers to improve the conditions of employment in their own factories )rof. *ichardson includes under it %any arrangement of working conditions which contribute to the workers health and safety, comfort, efficiency, economic security, education and recreation . "s mentioned earlier the !ncylopedia of social science defines it as % voluntary efforts of an employer to establish working and sometimes living and cultural conditions of his employees beyond what is re!uired by law the customs of industry and conditions of the market . +rom our part we prefer to include under it % anything done for the intellectual, physical, moral and economic betterment of the workers over above what is laid down by law or what is normally e"pected as part of the contractual benefits . $n ,-./, $L0 and 1elhi *egional 2onference defines welfare as, %such services, facilities and amenities, which may be established in or in the vicinity of undertakings to enable persons employed therein to perform his work in healthy and congenial surroundings and to provide them with amenities conducive to good health and good morals&. The document which as submitted in the international social work conference by the Latin "merican 2ountries in ,-34 held in 5unich describes welfare as % all kinds of services undertaken by the employer to promote the physical, social cultural and living condition of the employees and their families.& ,

+rom all these definitions, it is apparent that none is complete or comprehensive. There are no precise definite outline or demarcation in this sub6ect. owever, what is defined is that labour welfare promotes the well being of workers in a variety of ways. "ny kind of voluntary service will come under the purview of labour welfare if it aims at helping the worker to work better and in more meaningful manner, physically, socially, morally, economically and intellectually. #cope of Labour Welfare$ The scope of labour welfare has to be elastic and flexible enough to suit the existing conditions of the workers and to include all the essential prerequisites of life and the minimum basic amenities. $t also differs from time to time, region to region, industry to industry and country depending upon the value system, level of education, social customs, degree of industrialization and general standard of the socio7economic development of a people. $t is also related to the political situation in a country. 8ometimes, the concept is a very wide one and is more or less synonymous with conditions of work as a whole. $t may include not only the minimum standard of hygiene and safety laid down in general Labour legislation, but also such aspects of working life as social insurance schemes, measures for the protection of women and young workers, limitation of hours of work, paid vacation etc. $n other cases, the definition is such more limited and welfare, in addition to general physical working conditions, is mainly concerned with the day7to7day problems of the workers and the social relationships at the place of work. $n some countries, the use of welfare facilities provided is confined to the workers employed in the undertaking concerned, while in others, the worker#s, families are allowed to share in many of the benefits which are made available. The scope of Labour welfare has been described by writers and institutions in different ways and from different angles. The line of demarcation cannot be very precise but what should be the common characteristics is that a welfare measure should improve the working and living conditions of workers and their families and make their lives more meaningful. $t follows therefore, that an extra7mural and intra7mural welfare activities as well as statutory or non7statutory welfare measures undertaken by employers, government, trade union or voluntary organizations fall within the scope of labour welfare. %b&ectives of Labour Welfare' The ob6ectives of Labour Welfare is 7 to increase efficiency and productivity among workers 7 to improve moral 9 loyalty 7 to build up stable labour force and to lower turnover 9 absenteeism 7 to earn goodwill and enhance public image 7 to reduce the influence of union 7 to attract efficient employees 7 to reduce the threat of further government intervention. 'lassification of Labour Welfare$ Labour welfare programs can be classified from different angles. They are as follows' A( On the basis of Status' Labour welfare can be considered as' a: #tatutory' 8tatutory welfare is composed of those provisions of welfare work implementation, which depend on the coercive power of the government. The ;ovt. enacts certain rules regarding labour welfare in order to enforce the minimum standards of healthy and safety of the worker and the employers have to observer these rules. <

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)oluntary' =oluntary welfare includes all those activities, which employers undertake for their workers on voluntary basis. *utual' 5utual welfare is a %'orporate +nterprise& undertaken by the workers themselves. Labour Welfare is also classified under two categories i: $ntra7mural ii: !xtra7mural.

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i- Intra.mural activities$ $t includes services provided inside the factory premises. $ntra7mural activities are welfare and amenities within the premise of the establishment are latrines and urinal facilities, rest rooms, canteens, drinking water, health services 0ccupational 8afety etc. >"ccording to $L0: ii- +"tra.mural activities$ $t includes services and amenities outside the factory. !xtra7mural activities are welfare out side the establishments i.e. maternity benefit, social insurance, medical facilities, education facilities, recreation facilities, transport to and from place of work etc. >"ccording to $L0: The above categorization is used by $L0. /eneral 'lassification' Labour welfare service is also classified under the following three heads in general based on type of services. a: !conomic services b: *ecreational services c: +acilitative services 7 7 7 Loans, insurance, gratuity, )rovident +und, )ensions etc. 8ports and games, social events etc. 5edical service, housing, !ducational facility, canteen, 2o7operative store, Transport facility, Legal counselling etc.

0eed for Labour Welfare$ 5uch management is sensitive to the needs and problems of their employees. They recognize that at times employees face crisis, which is beyond their resources to handle. Left to their own devices many workers would be unable to provide for themselves in their old age. They need help form other sources. To provide protection against the various risk of living, the employer pays part of the cost. 1here are two basic arguments for having the employer contribute toward employee services. %ne is that they are human beings. This point of view can be bolstered by ethical and religious doctrines. 1he other argument is ?enlightened self.interest#. The employer knows that anxieties, worries and family crisis that happen to a man outside his working hours tend to affect his 6ob performance in the plant. Therefore it is to the 2ompany own advantage to help its people out, financially and with personal assistance#s, when adversity strikes. @

Auite frequently management will establish certain benefits and services because it believe that these will enhance moral and create more positive attitudes towards the company. 8ometimes 2ompanies establish attractive fringe benefit programme in order to enhance their public relations image. The 2ompany may except thereby to improve its market position and enhance product acceptance in the minds of the buying public. The 2ompany may also expect to gain greater respect form the community because it has demonstrated a considerable measure of social responsibility by establishing a sound benefit programme. Bnion bargaining power is often the main reasonC a 2ompany adopts a particular benefit programme. 2rinciples of Labour Welfare ,: <: @: .: 3: 4: /: every type of welfare service should be sub6ected to periodic review and evaluation so as to see the effectiveness of the existing services, services available at the community level should always be watched to avoid the duplication of services so as to utilize them effectively for the welfare of their employees. employee#s welfare plans will be of no good if the wage, structure and working conditions are bad. These are foundations until this is sound, service plan should be delayed. a plan should not be taken up unless they are willing to support it with their time, effort and sometimes money. +ree service is seldom appreciated. a plan should be started with minimum of financial allotment otherwise there is danger that employees will wonder whether or not plans are being financed at the expense of their low wages. communication between worker and management should also be improved through suggestion system in order to obtain the views of employees, reactions to management#s methods and practices. administration of welfare service must be done 6ointly, the Labour Welfare 0fficer, should only assist in a staff capacity7 he plans the programme, arranges technical services, mobilizes the existing resources and generates participation by workers.

1he above labour welfare principles can be stated in the following way$ ,. The welfare service should satisfy real needs of the worker. <. The welfare service should be such as can be handled best by a group approach. @. The welfare service should be such as to avoid duplication. .. The welfare service should be established and implemented with the active support 9 cooperation of management and employees. 3. The cost of the welfare service should be calculable and it#s financing established on a sound basis. 4. There should be periodical assessment or evaluation of welfare services for timely improvement on the basis of feedback. /. "dministration of welfare services must be done 6ointly. 'haracteristics of Labour Welfare 2rogramme' ,: <: @: they are of primary advantage and value to the employee. The many of course, also prove helpful to the employer in getting and holding better employees but their immediate and most obvious value is to employees. they are distinctly supplemental to regular wages and salaries. They are provided as benefits or services beyond the annual, monthly or hourly salary or wages. they are supported or financed in part of altogether by the employer. .

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they provide a type of assistance or aid that an employee in his own initiative and as an individual either cannot or is not likely to secure.

,enefits fo Labour Welfare$ ,. $ncreased productivity <. 5ore effective recruitment @. $mproved morale and loyalty .. Lower turnover and absenteeism 3. ;ood public relations 4. *educed influence of unions /. *educed threat of further governmental intervention. 3easons for the rapid growth of Labour Welfare 2rogrammes$ The rapid growth of welfare programme can be traced to such sources as' ,. " changed employee attitude <. Labour employer demands @. 8tatutory requirements .. 2ompetition that forces other employers to match benefits to attract and keep Labour. 3. igh company income tax rates have also stimulated the offering of services. +voluation of Labour Welfare 'oncepts The term Labour Welfare lends itself to different interpretations and had always the same significance in different countries. To have a look over the evaluation of labour welfare concepts, different definitions and thoughts related to labour welfare need to be considered. The transition from home production to the modern factory system took place in !urope and "merica from about ,/3D to ,E@D, a period coinciding with the $ndustrial *evolution in !ngland. "lthough mankind as a whole benefited greatly by the $ndustrial *evolution, misunderstanding began to undermine the sympathy and cooperation that had previously existed between the employer and the employees. 1iscontent and fiction began to exist at home and shop as a result of misunderstanding and more gap develop between the employers and their workers. The workers in a single group previously numbered a handful began to number hundreds and thousands. )reviously, the employers en6oyed the friendship of their associates at the bench, gradually became impossible. e could know them only causally, by faces and names, perhaps not their weakness and their strength, their interests, their ambitions, their hobbies etc. They became to him merely a group of workers whose labour must be bought. Without the employer#s knowledge and probably against their real purposes, they came into being an attitude on the part of management towards the workers that has become known as the ?'ommodity 'oncept of Labour&. 0ver the passage of time other concepts are developed' *ost common concepts of labour welfare are described below$ 4( 'ommodity 'oncept$

Wages were higher when the supply of labour as scarce in relation to the demand for labour and wages were low, when supply was substantially in excess of the demand for it. 3

This gave rise to the idea that labour, affected by the law of supply and demand, was like a commodity, the price of which was determined by the supply and the demand for it. 5( *achinery 'oncept$

The commodity conception overlooked the fact that the employer bought and sold, not the actual labour, but the products the labour produced. e determined the value of labour by the value of the goods and profit. The employers thus started to regard their employees largely as operating organisms or machine capable of a certain amount of out7put. (ust as we try to purchase machinery and plant with the lowest direct outlay, so we can hire labour as cheaply as possible. (ust as we try to keep plant and equipment operating economically as long as possible and 6unk them for better when necessary, so we can use and discard human labour. 6( 'harity 'oncept$

"ccording to this, the human sufferings were the manifestations of divine 6ustice for the sin committed by the sufferers. $t was the duty of those who were in fortunate positions to assist those who are in need. 2harity was given for salvation of the donar or out of human sentiments and with pity towards the distrssed. Thus labour welfare was mainly based on human and religious motive and social workers were conceived as kind hearted persons who devoted their efforts to the care and protection of the needy and the distressed people of the society. 7( 2aternalistic 'oncept$

$t is a concept that management started to assume a fatherly and protective attitude towards employees, partially to suppress the movement of union. $t is not believed that merely supplying many benefits such as housing, recreation and pensions make a management paternalistic. $t is the attitude and the manner of installation that determine whether or not a management is peternal in its dealings with employees. To be paternalistic, two characteristics are necessary. +irstly, the profit motive should not be prominent in management#s decision to provide such employees services. They should be offered because the management has decided that the employee needs them, 6ust as a parent decides what is good for his children. 8econdly, the decision concerning what services to provide and how to provide them belongs solely to management. The father makes the decision that the feels is the best for the child. 8( 0atural 3esource 'oncept$

8ome statesmen began to conceive of labour as natural resources, which the state should protect. 0ut of this conception came child labour laws, restrictions of hours of women workers, workmen#s compensation and ealth ans 8afety Legislation. 9( Democratic 'oncept$

$t is also know as citizenship concept. The workers are considered as citizens of the industry in which they are employed and entitled to a right to have a voice in terminating the rules and regulations under which they work. The result of this realization was industrial democracy with its shop committee, industrial councils, employee representation plans and so on. 4

2artnership 'oncept$

The partnership relationships imply mutual responsibilities as well as the sharing of the fruits of the 6oint endeavours. The earliest efforts to translate this idea in to action were the fostering of stock7ownership plans. *ecently, profit sharing has come into prominence. 8ome argue that the partnership concept is fallaciousthat their can be no mutuality of interest between owner who are seeking large profits and workers who desire high wages that the two interests are incompatible and cannot be reconciled. ;( #ocial Welfare 'oncept$

$n the past, social welfare was mainly based on humanitarian and religious motives. This concept, in course of time, became inadequate and unsatisfactory to meet the needs of modern societies. The modern concept of social welfare is based on the recognition of the rights and worth of the individuals. $t is characterized by an % organi<ed effort through a range of programme, services and agencies to promote social well.being and to prevent or alleviate social malfunctioning . $n short, social welfare is conceived with a broad range of activities and programmes directed to human well7being. 1he profession of social work accepts the following main principles$ i: 8ocial work accepts the importance and dignity of every man and re6ects the 6ungle doctrine of the survival of the fittest. ii: iii: $t recognizes that human sufferings are undesirable and should be prevented or at least alleviated whenever possible. "ll classes of persons in the community have an equal right to the social servicesC there is community responsibility to provide servicesC without discrimination to all. The adoption of this conception towards labour is becoming increasingly widespread. $n short, citizenship, partnership and social welfare conceptions are at present playing very important roles in industrial welfare activities. The concept of labour welfare established on seven theories. They are' i: ii: iii: iv: v: vi: vii: The )olice Theory The *eligious Theory The )hilanthropic Theory The Trusteeship Theory or )aternalistic Theory The )lacating Theory The )ublic *elations Theory The +unctional Theory.

LA,%=3 W+L>A3+ A'1I)I1I+#? #+3)I'+# I0 ,A0/LAD+#@ ,. 8anitary 9 ygiene facilities <. 2anteen facilities @. *est facilities .. 5edical facilities 3. +amily welfare 9 community development facilities' a. +amily planning b. 2ommunity development 4. ousing facilities /. Transport facilities E. *ecreation and culture facilities -. !ducational facilities ,D. 2ooperative 9 savings facilities ,,. 2ooperative credit societies facilities ,<. )ersonnel counseling facilities ,@. 1istress relief 9 cash benefit facilities ,.. 8ocial securities facilities' a. Workmen#s 2ompensation b. 5aternity Fenefit c. 5edical leave d. ;ratuityG )ension e. )rovident fund f. ;roup insurance g. Lay off compensation