The construction industry spans the world, developed and developing,
and is involved in all types of developmental activity. The ILO Committee
on building, civil engineering and public works noted that the construction
is one of the few industries that is of common importance in all countries.
In India construction is second to the agriculture and a large unorganized
sector work force depends on it for livelihood. Construction is a
major intensive industry. Construction workers are those who are mainly
employed through contractors and remain as casual labour from the
day he/she commences work till the day he/she finally leaves the job.
The employer dominates the relationship since there is little organization
or permanence in the relations. The construction work involves heavy
work and physical danger and majority of the construction workers
constitute the poor blocks of the working community without any social
security. It is estimated that about 8.5 million workers in the country
are engaged in building and other construction works. Building and
other construction workers are one of the most numerous and vulnerable
segments of the unorganized labourers in India . To safeguard the
interests of the workers engaged in Building and Other Construction
operations and to extend various welfare benefits and social security
to them, the Government of India has enacted two Acts namely the Building
and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions
of Services) Act, 1996 and the Building and Other Construction Workers
Welfare Cess Act, 1996.
The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment
& Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 have been enacted with a view
to regularize the wages, working conditions, safety, health and welfare
measures, etc. exclusively for the building and other construction
workers. The Act applies to every establishment which employs 10 or
more workers. Similarly, “the Building and other Construction Workers
Welfare Cess Act, 1996” have been enacted with a view to provide for
the levy and collection of Cess on the cost of construction incurred
by employers with a view to augmenting the resources of the Welfare
Boards constituted under the Act.