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The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 is an Indian labor law that seeks to regulate the employment of contract labor and prevent exploitation of contract workers. It was enacted to safeguard the interests of contract laborers and to ensure that they receive fair wages and benefits similar to regular employees. Below are some key provisions and features of the Contract Labour Act:

  1. Applicability: The act applies to establishments and contractors employing 20 or more workmen on any day of the preceding 12 months.
  2. Registration of Establishments and Contractors: Both principal employers (establishments) and contractors engaging contract labor are required to obtain and maintain a license from the appropriate government authority.
  3. Prohibition of Employment without License: No contractor can employ contract labor without obtaining a license from the appropriate government.
  4. Conditions for Granting License: The government may grant a license after considering factors such as the suitability of the applicant, adequacy of the provisions for labor welfare, and the past record of the applicant in relation to the implementation of labor laws.
  5. Revocation of License: The government can revoke or suspend a license if the contractor violates any conditions of the license or any provisions of the Act.
  6. Obligations of Principal Employer: The principal employer is required to ensure that the contractor complies with various statutory obligations such as payment of wages, health and safety measures, and social security benefits.
  7. Welfare and Health Measures: Contractors are required to provide certain welfare and health amenities to the contract laborers, including facilities like canteens, restrooms, drinking water, first aid, and safety measures.
  8. Working Hours and Conditions: Contract laborers should not be made to work more than the prescribed number of hours in a day and week. They are entitled to overtime wages if they work beyond the normal working hours.
  9. Equal Pay for Equal Work: Contract laborers performing the same or similar work as regular employees are entitled to receive the same wages and benefits.
  10. Termination of Service: The conditions under which contract laborers can be terminated must be specified in the contract between the contractor and the contract labor.
  11. Prohibition of Abolition of Contract Labor: The Act prohibits the abolition of contract labor in certain establishments or processes.
  12. Penalties: The Act prescribes penalties for violations, including fines and imprisonment.
  13. Maintenance of Records: Principal employers and contractors are required to maintain and preserve records and registers containing particulars of contract laborers, the work performed by them, the wages paid to them, and receipts by them.

The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 aims to regulate and improve the working conditions of contract laborers, ensuring that they receive fair wages, benefits, and protection from exploitation. It also serves to hold both principal employers and contractors accountable for the welfare and rights of contract laborers.