The Evolution of Labour Law in India: An Overview and Commentary on Regulatory Objectives and Development
A revised version of this paper has been published in the Asian Journal of Law and Society (2014), v.1 (2), pp. 413-453.
Workplace and Corporate Law Research Group, Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash University, Working Paper no. 18.
60 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2013 Last revised: 3 Nov 2014
Date Written: July 23, 2013
Generally speaking there has been a relative dearth of serious scholarship focussing on the evolution of Indian labour law in its economic, social and political contexts. Such work as there is tends to be constituted of fragmented and short journal articles and notes, including those by labour economists and industrial relations scholars. The present work undertakes a survey of the literature in the field, examining first the various periods through which Indian labour law has evolved up to the present time, and secondly the extent to which the labour law system can be seen to have fulfilled its two core objectives: the protection of labour and the maintenance of industrial peace. The survey reveals that Indian 'labour law' in the formal sense has very little purchase in terms of its application in pursuit of its objects. This, in turn, suggests that some other approach is required to reach a more grounded and accurate understanding of how, and to what effect, labour is regulated in India.
Keywords: labour law, labour law in India, evolution of labour law, legal origins
JEL Classification: K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation