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Section 1 – Contract Labour Act, 1970

Contract Labour Act, 1970





(1) This Act may be called the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970.


(2) It extends to the whole of India.


(3) It shall come into force on such date1 as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act.


(4) It applies – (a) to every establishment in which twenty or more workmen are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months as contract labour;


(b) to every contractor who employs or who employed on any day of the preceding twelve months twenty or more workmen : Provided that the appropriate Government may, after giving not less than two months’ notice of its intention so to do, by notification in the Official Gazette, apply the provisions of this Act to any establishment or contractor employing such number of workmen less than twenty as may be specified in the notification.


(5)(a) It shall not apply to establishments in which work only of an intermittent or casual nature is performed.


(b) If a question arises whether work performed in an establishment is of an intermittent or casual nature, the appropriate Government shall decide the question after consultation with the Central Board or, as the case may be, a State Board, and its decision shall be final.


Explanation : For the purpose of this sub-section, work performed in an establishment shall not be deemed to be of an intermittent nature- (i) if it was performed for more than one hundred and twenty days in the preceding twelve months, or


(ii) if it is of a seasonal character and is performed for more than sixty days in a year.




Maharashtra. —In section 1, in sub-section (5), after clause (b), add the following clause, namely:—


“(c) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (b) or any other provisions of this Act, the work performed or carried out in the area of Special Economic Zone (declared as such by the Government of India), which is of ancillary nature such as canteen, gardening, cleaning, security, courier services, transport of raw material and finished products, or loading and unloading of goods within the premises of a factory or establishments which are declared 100 per cent. export units by Government, required to achieve the objective of a principal establishment in the said area, shall be deemed to be of temporary and intermittent nature irrespective of the period of performance of the work by the workers in such ancillary establishments.”


[ Vide The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2005 (Maharashtra Act 13 of 2006), sec. 2 (w.e.f. 2-5-2006).]




The Act is a piece of social legislation for the welfare of labourers whose conditions of service are not at all satisfactory and it should, therefore, be literally construed; Lionel Edward Ltd. v. Labour Enforcement Officer, 1977 Lab IC 1037 (Cal).



1. Came into force on 10-2-1971, vide G.S.R. 190, dated 1st February, 1971, published in the Gazette of India, Extra., Pt. II, Sec. 3(i), dated 10th February, 1971.



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Contract Labour Act, 1970


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