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The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970






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The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970

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Contract Labour Act 1970


The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970 applies to whole of India. It has been in existence with an objective to regulate the employment of contract labour in certain establishments and also to provide for its abolition in certain circumstances and for matters connected therewith.

For those who are not aware of the term “Contract Labour” then let me define the term in some words for your convenience.

Contract Labour are the labour if workers whose freedom is restricted by the terms of contractual relation and by laws that make such arrangement permissible and enforceable. It is the system of employing labourers through a contract by a contractor for a specified period. They are generally the ones employed in skilled as well as semi-skilled jobs.

Let us dive into the Act to get detailed information of The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970.


The provision of the Contract Labour Act 1970 is applicable to:-

  • every establishment having 20 or more workers employed or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months as contract labour;
  • every contractor who employees or who employed on any day of the preceding twelve months twenty or more workers.
  • The Act is also applicable on every establishment where the workmen are employed in the establishment as ‘contract labour’.

The Government whenever find it appropriate may, after giving not less than two months notice of the intention for doing so, 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.


  1. The Contract Labour Act shall not apply to establishments in which work only of an intermittent or casual nature is performed.
  2. The Contract Labour Act shall not apply to a person who is appointed in an advisory or managerial capacity.


The object of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970 includes:-

  • to prevent the labourers from being exploited
  • to provide good conditions for labourers to work good enough
  • to regulate the functioning of the advisory boards
  • to lay down the rules and regulations regarding the registration procedure of the establishment employing contract labour
  • to state the necessary requirements and the procedure of licensing of contract
  • to provide the penal provisions in case of violation offences under the Act


All the principal employer running an establishment to which this act apply, shall, within the period as prescribed by the Government may, by notification in the official gazette, shall file an application with the registering officer in the manner prescribed.

The registering officer after taking appropriate time for checking, shall approve the application filed after the application for registration is complete in all respects. Where the employer files the application after the prescribed time then, if the registering officer is satisfied that the applicant was prevented by sufficient cause from making the application in time.


Where  the registering officer is satisfied, either on a reference made to him in this behalf or otherwise, that the registration of any establishment has been obtained by misrepresentation or suppression of any material fact, or that for any other reason, the registration has become useless or ineffective and therefore, requires to be revoked, the registering officer may, after giving an opportunity of being heard and with previous approval of the appropriate Government, revoke the registration.


As per Section 9 of the Act, provides that the principal employer, to whom this Act is applicable, fails to get registered under the Act, then such Principal Employer cannot employ the contract labourers in the establishment.

Where the establishment is not registered or if contractor is not licensed then the employer shall be considered responsible and shall be deemed to be the direct workmen and the principal employer or the establishment shall be liable for the wages, services and facilities of the contract labour etc.

The penal provision of the Contract Labour Act states the punishment which include imprisonment for a maximum term upto 3 months and fine of maximum Rs. 1000/-.

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The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970

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Answer to your queries

The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970

The main objective of this act is to prevent exploitation of the contract labour and also to introduce better conditions of work.

It is applicable on every establishment where there are 20 or more workmen employed or were employed as contract labour at any time during the last 12 months.

The Act states that this act is applicable on every establishment employing 20 or more contract labourers, thus it enables the establishment or contractor to avoid their responsibility regarding the welfare of the workers by employing less than 20 workmen.


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