The Factories Act 1948, the Mine Act 1952 and other Acts repealed by the yet to be enforced Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020. Current status of repealed Acts

The Factories Act 1948, the Mine Act 1952 and other Acts repealed by the yet to be enforced Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020. Current status of repealed Acts.

Dr. Yashpal Singh

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020, an Act of Parliament (No. 37 of 2020) notified on 28-09-2020 by the Central Government has consolidated and amended existing laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions of the persons employed in an establishment and for connected matters.

It has been provided in Section 2(1) that the Act would come into force on such dates as may be notified by the Central Government. As per OM No. Z16025/72/2023-1511-II dated 02-11-2023 issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment the code is yet to come into force.

Section 143 of the said code has repealed the following Acts, effective from the date of notification under section 2(1) as above.

  1. The Factories Act, 1948;
  2. The Plantations Labour Act, 1951;
  3. The Mines Act, 1952;
  4. The Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955;
  5. The Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act, 1958;
  6. The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961;
  7. The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966;
  8. The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970;
  9. The Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976;
  10. The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979;
  11. The Cine-Workers and Cinema Theater Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1981;
  12. The Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986;
  13. The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.

It has also been provided that every Chief Inspector, Additional Chief Inspector, Joint Chief Inspector, Deputy Chief Inspector, Inspector and every other officer appointed for the purposes under any of the provisions of the enactments repealed by this Code, shall be deemed to have been appointed under this Code for such purposes under this Code and that notwithstanding repeal under sub-section (1), anything done or any action taken under the enactments so repealed (including any rule, regulation, bye-laws, notification, nomination, appointment, order or direction made thereunder) shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding provisions of this Code and shall remain in force to the extent they are not contrary to the provisions of this Code till they are repealed by the Central Government.

To the best of my understanding, since the code has not yet come into force, the provisions of the above-mentioned Acts would still apply. All actions taken under the said acts would also remain in force even after the code is implemented by notification.


CHAPTER I. Preliminary

  • It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Code. Chapter 1 also provides for definitions. (Sections 1 and 2)

CHAPTER II. Registration

  • The code provides for procedures for Registration of establishments coming into existence after the commencement of this code (Section 3) and an appeal to be filed within 30 days of the order being issued under Section 3 (Section 4).

CHAPTER III. Duties of Employer and Employees etc.

  • Provides for duties of employers and employees; owners, agents and manager in relation to mines, designers, manufacturers, importers or suppliers, architects, project engineers and designers in case of building or other construction projects.
  • The employer to notify accidents, dangerous occurrences and certain diseases as mentioned in the schedule within the time limits as prescribed. Responsibilities have also been prescribed for the medical practitioner to report disease occurrence (as mentioned in the Third Schedule) in case of persons employed or having been employed earlier. The qualified medical practitioners are liable to attract a penalty (extending to Rs. 10000/-). (Section 10, 11 and 12).
  • Duties and rights of employees. (Section 13 and 14).

CHAPTER IV. Occupational Safety and Health

  • The establishment of a National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board for implementation of the code. (Section 17).
  • Notification of occupational safety and health standards. The code provides for the conduct of Research related activities by institutions duly notified by the State or Central Board in consultation with the National Board and for safety and Health surveys by appropriate authorities as mentioned. (Sections 18 and 19)
  • Collection of occupational safety and health Statistics and portal for inter-state migrant workers and maintaining an appropriate data base. (Section 21)
  • Creation of safety committee and safety officers. (Section 22)

CHAPTER V. Health, safety and working conditions.

  • The Employer is responsible for maintaining health, safety and working conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government. (Section 23)

CHAPTER VI. Deals with welfare provisions.

  • Maintenance of welfare facilities as may be prescribed by the Central Government in the establishment (Section 24)

CHAPTER VII. Regulates the Hours of work and Annual leave with wages

  • Restricts the total hours of work to eight while for persons employed below ground in a mine it shall be restricted such hours as may be notified by the Central Government. (Section 25)
  • Section 26 provides for weekly and compensatory holidays.
  • Extra wages and over time, night shifts, prohibition of over lapping shifts, restrictions on double employment, notice of periods of work and annual leave with wages. (Section 27 to 32)

CHAPTER VIII. Prescribes for the maintenance of registers, records and filing of returns by the employer of an establishment.

CHAPTER IX. Inspector-Cum-Facilitators and Other Authority

  • The appointment of Inspector cum Facilitators to exercise the powers conferred on them under this code (Section 34)
  • The powers of such inspectors and facilitators (Section 35).
  • The District Magistrate has been empowered to exercise such powered and duties of the inspector-cum-facilitator as may be specified in the notification. (Section 36)
  • The appropriate Government to formulate a scheme for Third party audit and certification (Section 37).
  • Special powers of Inspectors cum facilitators in respect of Factory, mines, daily work and building or other construction work. (Section 38)
  • Secrecy of information by Chief Inspector-cum facilitator or Inspector cum facilitator (Section 39)
  • Facilities to be afforded to inspectors cum Facilitators (Section 40)
  • Powers of Special officer in relation to mines (Section 41)
  • Appointment of Medical Officers (Section 42)

CHAPTER X. Special Provisions relating to employment of women

  • Employment of women (Section 43)
  • Adequate safety of employment of women in dangerous operation (Section 44)

Chapter XI Special Provisions for contract Labour and interstate migrant workers

Part 1 Contract Labour

  • Applicable to every establishment or man power supplier employing more than 50 or more contract labour on any day of the preceding 12 months
  • Appointment of designated Authorities for making applications for obtaining a single licence or common licence or a combination of any for factory, industrial premises for beedi and cigar work and for engaging contract workers. (Section 46)
  • Licencing of Contractors. (Section 47)
  • Procedure for issue or renewal of licence (Section 48)
  • No fees or commission to be charged by contractor from contract labour. (Section 49)
  • Information regarding work order to be given by contractor to the appropriate Government. (Section 50)
  • Revocation suspension and amendment of licence. (Section 51)
  • Appeal against licencing of contractors, issue or renewal of licence and revocation, suspension or amendment of licence. (Section 52)
  • Liability of Principal Employer for welfare facilities (Section 53)
  • Effect of employing contract labour from a non-licenced contractor. (Section 54)
  • Responsibility of the Contractor to pay wages to contract Labour (Section 55)
  • Responsibilities of the contractor to issue experience certificate to contract labour. (Section 56)
  • Prohibition of employment of contract labour in core activities of any establishment. (Section 57)
  • Powers to exempt the application of this code in case of emergency. (Section 58)

Part II. Applies to inter-state migrant workers and establishments employing 10 or more than 10 inter-state migrant workers.

  • Facilities to interstate migrant workers (Section 60)
  • Journey Allowance (Section 61)
  • Benefits of Public Distribution System in either the native state or the state where employed (Section 62)
  • Provision of Toll-free helpline for interstate migrant workers (Section 63)
  • Study of interstate migrant workers to be undertaken by appropriate government (Section 64)
  • No suit to lie in any court on any outstanding debt on an interstate migrant worker under obligation to the contractor or Principal employer (Section 65)

Part III. Audio Visual workers

  • Prohibition of employment of audio-visual workers without agreement (Section 66).

Part IV. Mines

  • Mine to be under a sole manager who will be responsible for overall management, control, supervision and direction. Owners possessing prescribed qualification may appoint themselves as Manager. (Section 67)
  • Code not to apply for only prospecting and mines engaged in the extraction of kankar, murrram, laterite, boulder, gravel, shingle, ordinary sand and other mineral sands; ordinary clay (excluding kaolin, china clay, white clay or fire clay), building stone, state, road metal, earth, fuller earth and lime stone. (Section 68)
  • Exemption from restriction in hours of work where considered necessary due to emergency situations. (Section 69)
  • No employment to persons below the age of 18 except as apprentices or trainees where an age limit of 16 years and above is permissible. (Section 70)
  • Exempting of certain persons from time restriction in mines. (Section 71)
  • Provision of maintenance and rescue services and vocational training for persons employed in mines (Section 72).
  • The Central Government to take a decision on whether the code is applicable to a mine in case a question so arises. (Section 73)

Part V. Beedi and Cigar workers

  • Licence to industrial premises and persons (Section 74)
  • Appeals against refusal to grant or renew a licence and cancelling or suspending a licence (Section 75).
  • State Government may allow the wetting or cutting of beedi or tobacco leaves outside the industrial premises and procedures thereof (Section 76)
  • Part V not applicable to private house holders who carry out the activity on own premises with family members living in the house and depend out on him. (Section 77)

Part VI.  Building and other construction workers

  • Persons with deafness, defective vision or tendency to giddiness not to be allowed to work in building or other construction projects (Section 78)

Part VII. Factories

  • Approval and licencing of Factories (Section 79)
  • Owners of premises and occupiers to be jointly and severally responsible for safety and other concerns in the common premises leased to different occupiers for use as separate factories. (Section 80)
  • Power to apply code to certain premises (Section 81)
  • The appropriate Government to make provisions of operation of factories involving dangerous operations. (Section 82)
  • Constitution of site appraisal committee for purposes as may be specified including giving recommendations on the initial establishment or expansion of a factory involving a hazardous process (Section 83)
  • Compulsory disclosure of information by occupier of every factory involving a hazardous process. Drawing up of onsite disaster management plan. (Section 84)
  • Specific responsibility of the occupier in relation to hazardous processes- health records, medical reports employing qualified personal to handle hazardous substances and processes, providing medical examination etc. (Section 85)
  • National Board to inquire into standards of health and safety ensured in a factory. The recommendations of the National Board to be advisory in nature. (Section 86)
  • Central Government to direct appropriate authorities to lay down emergency standards in case no standards of safety have been prescribed. (Section 87)
  • The maximum permissible limits of exposure of chemicals and toxic substances to be the same as may be prescribed by the State Government (Section 88)
  • Right of workers to warn about imminent danger and duty of occupier/person in-charge/manager to take immediate remedial action (Section 89)
  • Appeals against orders passed by Inspector cum facilitator in case of factory (Section 90).
  • Power to make rules to exempt persons working in confidential position. (Section 91)

Part VIII.  Plantation

  • Facilities for workers in plantation including housing, drinking water, kitchen, toilet, creches etc. (Section 92)
  • Provisions for safety in plantation. (Section 93)

Chapter XII.  Offences and Penalties

  • General Penalty for offences (Section 94)
  • Punishment for causing obstruction to Chief Inspector cum Facilitator or Inspector-cum-facilitator (Section 95)
  • Penalty for non-maintenance of register, records and non-filing of returns etc. (Section 96)
  • Punishment for contravention of provisions of the code or orders made under this code. (Section 97)
  • Punishment for falsification of records etc (Section 98)
  • Penalty for omission to furnish plans (Section 99)
  • Punishment for disclosure of information (Section 100)
  • Punishment for wrongfully disclosing results of analysis (Section 101)
  • Punishment for contravention of provisions of duties relating to hazardous processes (Section 102)
  • Punishment for contravention of provisions of duties relating to safety (Section 103)
  • Special provisions for contravention of orders under section 38 (Section 104)
  • Failure to appoint manager in mine. (Section 105)
  • Offences by Employees (Section 106)
  • Prosecution of owner, agent or manager of mine (Section 107)
  • Exemption of owner, agent or manager of mine or occupier of factory from liability in certain cases (Section 108)
  • Offences by companies (Section 109)
  • Limitation of Prosecution and cognizance of offences. (Section 110)
  • Powers of officers of appropriate Government to impose penalty in certain cases (Section 111)
  • Jurisdiction of court for entertaining proceedings. The place where the establishment is situated to be considered as the place where the offence is committed. (Section 112)
  • Power of court to make orders. (Section 113)
  • Composition of certain offences. (Section 114)

Chapter XIII.  Social Security fund

  • Social security fund for the welfare of unorganised workers. (Section 115)

Chapter XIV. Miscellaneous

  • Delegation of powers (Section 116)
  • Onus as to age (Section 117)
  • Onus of proving limits of what is practicable etc. (Section 118)
  • Common licence for contractor, factories and to industrial premises (Section 119)
  • Effect of law and agreements inconsistent with code (Section 120)
  • Powers of appropriate Government to direct inquiry regarding accidents, epidemics, occupational diseases etc. (Section 121)
  • Publication of reports (Section 122)
  • Power of Central Government to give direction to the State Government (Section 123)
  • General restriction on disclosure of information (Section 124)
  • Jurisdiction of Civil Courts barred. (Section 125)
  • Protection of Action taken in good faith. (Section 126)
  • Power to exempt in special cases. (Section 127)
  • Power to exempt during public emergency (Section 128)
  • Power to exempt public Institution (Section 129)
  • Person required to give notice, legally bound to do so (Section 130)
  • Powers of Central Government to amend schedule (Section 131)
  • Powers to remove difficulties (Section 132)
  • Power of appropriate Government to makes rules (Section 133)
  • Powers of Central Government to make rules (Section 134)
  • Powers of State Government to make rules (Section 135)
  • Powers of Central Government to make regulations in relation to mines and dock work (Section 136)
  • Prior publication of rules. (Section 137)
  • Power to make regulation without previous publication (Section 138)
  • Bye laws governing the use of any particular machinery or the adoption of a particular method of working in the mine as the employer may think necessary. (Section 139)
  • Powers to regulate general safety and Health (Section 140)
  • Laying of regulations, bye laws etc before parliament. (Section 141)
  • Laying of rules made by the state Government before the State Legislative (Section 142)
  • Repeal and Savings.

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