Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Premkumar Nair
Manager (hr)-retired
+1 Other

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1. Who is to take disciplinary action against contrat labour and whether Standing Order is appliacable to contract abour or not?
2. Can we engagae contract labour in security, house keeping, drivers, canteen or horticulture etc.?
Please clarify me in above.

From India, Sambalpur
Dear Mr Pratap,
Contract labour is the employee of the contractor, either supplied as manpower to the contracting Firm or deployed for providing some services on contract. Such arrangement is regulated under the Contract Labour (R&A) Act. Disciplinary action is to be initiated by the employer though misconduct may be reported by the Principal Employer to the contractor. Standing orders of the establishment of the contractor are applicable.
Any such services can be availed on contract unless the appropriate govt prohibits employment of contract labour in the establishment/company for such services. Hope this clarifies.
With best wishes,

From India, Mumbai
If Standing Order of the establishment is applicable to contract workmen then it is persistent the contract labour are treated as direct employee of the employer.Then it became a sham conrtract. Am i right or wrong?
Please clarify

From India, Sambalpur
Standing Orders as it is will not be applicable to contract labours. But while engaging workers there will be a contract with the contractor (who engages labour) that some or some specified conditions of service, like safety provisions, shift timings, intervals of rest, confidentiality matters etc, that the workers of the contractor should follow. This does not mean that Standing Orders is applicable to workers who are engaged through a contractor and strictly speaking the standing orders itself would provide for its 'applicability' or on whom these rules are binding and if it is stated that it applies to contract labour, then sure the provisions of the orders will be applicable to them also.

By extending the standing orders to contract labour, the contract will not become sham. But it will become sham when you interfere with contract labour directly by initiating disciplinary action against them, by imposing fine or penalty on them for late coming or some other offenses, by directly controlling the work being done by them, by making direct payment of wages or advances under normal circumstances (in circumstances wherein the contractor has failed to pay wages, you the Principal employer can make direct payment to contract workers) etc.

You can engage contract labour only in such areas of operation which are not directly connected with the main business of the organisation. If you engage contract labour on work of perennial nature, that will be illegal. Housekeeping, security deployment etc are considered to be indirect operations and therefore, in such areas you can have contract labour. In a hospitality industry, for example, housekeeping in guest area is a core area of operation where you cannot have indirect labour. At the same time,for public area cleaning (admin office/ staff cafeteria etc) you can have contract labour. Similarly, in kitchen attached to restaurant you should have only direct labour but in staff kitchen you can have indirect / contract labour.


From India, Kannur
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