Meaning of Building and Other Construction Workers: An Overview
The both Houses of Parliament passed the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill with the consent of the President on 19th August 1996. It came in the Statute Book as The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act,1996 & rule 27 of 1996.
An Act to control the employment and conditions of service in building and other construction workers and to give their safety, health and welfare measures and other matters connected or incidental to that. In this writing, we will discuss the meaning of Building and Other Construction Workers.
What is the definition of a Building Worker?
According to Section 2 (e), a building worker means an individual who is employed to do any skilled, semi-skilled/unskilled, manual, supervisory, technical/clerical work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment be implied or expressed, in connection with any building and other construction work but does not involve any such person-
- Who is employed primarily on a managerial or administrative ;
- Those used in a supervisory capacity draw wages exceeding one thousand six hundred rupees per month or exercise. Either by the nature of the works attached to the office or because of the powers vested in him, he functions mainly of a managerial nature;
Needs for the Building and Other Construction Workers Act
- In India, more than 80 crore skilled or unskilled workers are in the building construction sector.
- The construction industry is entirely labour-intensive, and most workers Are unskilled and unsystematic and generally work in miserable and inhuman conditions.
- These building construction workers are part of the vulnerable segments of the unorganized sector in India.
- To address these inhuman working conditions, ill-treatment, poor facilities, poor health, and necessary safety measures in the construction sector, the Government enacted the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.
Registration of Establishments.
Every employer shall-
(a) About an establishment to which this Act applies on its commencement, within sixty days from such commencement; and
(b) About any other establishment to which this Act may be applicable at any time after such commencement, with of sixty days from the date on which this Act enhance applicable to such establishment,
take an application to the registering officer for the registration of such establishment:
The registering officer may involve any such application after the expiry of the periods aforementioned if they are fully satisfied that the applicant was prevented by adequate cause from making the application within such period.
- Every application under sub-section (1) will be in such form, contain such particulars, and be accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed.
- After receiving an application under sub-section (1), the registering officer shall register the establishment, issue a Registration Certificate to the employer thereof in the given Form and within the given time, and be subject to the given conditions as may be prescribed.
- Where, after the registration of an establishment by this section, any change occurs in the ownership or management or the employer to the registering officer shall intimate other prescribed particulars concerning such establishment, the details regarding such change within thirty days of such change in such Form as may be specified.
Building and Other Construction Workers as Beneficiaries
Every Construction worker who has completed the age of eighteen years but is below the age of sixty years and has been engaged in building construction work for not less than ninety days in the preceding twelve months is eligible to obtain registration as a beneficiary. Workers registered as beneficiaries are entitled to get advantages from the board from its fund by this Act.
Registration of Building Workers as Beneficiaries
- The registration Application form is to be made in the suggested format to the officer appointed under the board for this aim
- Application made to the authorized officer ned to be accompanied with the fees not exceeding Rs50 as the case may be
- Suppose the authorized officer is satisfied that the applicant has complied with the provisions of the Act. In that case, they will register the name of the Building and construction workers as beneficiaries.
- if the officers are not satisfied with the application of the workers, they can reject the application form but not without giving the opportunity of being heard
- an applicant aggrieved by the decision of the authorized officer can proceed to the secretary of the board and any other officer authorized for the same within the period of thirty days from the date of given decision
- appeal by the aggrieved workers will be entertained after the expiry of thirty days only if the secretary or officer in charge is satisfied with the reasons given for the delay in filing the appeal
Cessation of Construction Workers as a Beneficiaries
According to section 14 of the BOCW Act, a building & construction worker registered as a beneficiary will cease to be a beneficiary when they attain the age of 60 years or are not doing Building & other construction work for not exceeding ninety days in a year. The calculation of ninety days will exclude the time a Building & construction workers are absent due to any injury or accident caused during work.
The registered beneficiaries under this Act is entitled to contribute to the beneficiaries fund until he/she attains the age of sixty years at the rate per month prescribed by the Government; by notification, the Official Gazette and contribution rate differ according to the classes of Building and another construction worker. Suppose the beneficiaries cannot contribute to the fund because of financial hardship. In that case, the board can waive off the payment of contribution for a period not exceeding three months at a time. As per the Act, the employer deducts the contribution from the monthly wages or remits the same to the board within 15 days.
The beneficiaries will cease to be a beneficiary on the ground of non-contribution of funds for a continuous time of not less than a year. If the board is satisfied with the delay in non-payment of funds and the beneficiaries are ready to pay the liability, the registration of beneficiaries will stand restored.
It is admirable that the Indian Government has made social welfare arrangements for the long-neglected construction workers. Still, there have been some grey premises left in the statute, which needs clarification, and enforcement until the judiciary has stepped in to settle the matter. as per Section 2(1)(i) of the BOCW Act, explain the ’employer’ and comprise both owner and contractor of the construction premises under its limit. Therefore, the contractor and owner start shifting their liability and responsibility to one another. In addition, the State Governments have to be accountable for the unutilized cess collected fund and implement the remaining funds for the welfare of construction workers.