Let share my thoughts on this issue.
A contract labourer is defined in the Contract Labourer Regulation and Abolition Act, 1970 as one who is hired in connection with the work of an establishment by a principal employer (who is the firm owner or a manager) through a contractor.
This act applies to any establishment in which 20 or more workmen are employed on a contract basis on any day of the last one year and also to all contractors who employ or have employed 20 or more workmen on any day of the preceding twelve months.
A casual labour does not get employed through a contractor. Though his/her appointment may be not permanent, she or he has direct contract with the principal employer. The act however, does not apply to the establishments in which work is intermittent or casual in nature. While the decision regarding whether the work is of casual nature or not rests on the appropriate government, if the work is carried out on more than 120 days in a year, it cannot be considered as intermittent.
The act makes a number of provisions for the welfare of the contract workers including payment of minimum wages, social security benefits and others. At various points of time Government amended the law with a view to make it more labour friendly.
In light of the above observations, when the employer is employing more than 75 workers on any day during the preceding 12 months, such establishment will fall within the ambit of the Act, and the Employer is bound to protect the welfare and social security interests of such employees, eventhough they are employed indirectly or through any other agency. The Contractor is, however, exempt from taking License because he has not employed 20 or more workers.
with regards and thanks
Dr. KSN Sarma
Advocate & Management Consultant,