British Colonialism And Child Labour Essay

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Chapter I
The history of labour legislation in India and that of British colonialism are intertwined with each other. In the beginning, it was difficult to get enough Indian workers to run British establishments; hence laws for contract workers became necessary. The Factories Act was first introduced in 1883 and India received its first stipulation of eight hours of work, introduction of concept of over-time, the abolition of child labour and restriction of women in night employment. The impact of this measure was intended to be welfarist.
Laws relating to employment emerged majorly, when the employers tried to restrict the powers of workers and at the same time keeping the labour costs low. The workers began to demand better conditions at work and the right to organize so as to improve their standard of living due to which the employer’s costs increased.
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Even though the industrial revolution upshot the production, the national income and so on the per capita income went to high pitch, paradoxically the fate of the multitude did not seem to improve . Rather the condition of workers only became even more deplorable.
Escalating expectations of the workers, hopes extended by Welfare State, uncertainties caused by tremendous developments in different spheres in the industry, the decline of concept of authority, and the work ethics all seem to have played some role in the introduction of employment related laws in India. But, the problem didn’t clearly end with the introduction of laws regulating minimum wage, working hours, employer-employee relationship etc. It was required that the focus be paid to the social conditions at workplace
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