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What is Building and other Construction Workers – BOCW

What is BOCW

BOCW stands for Building and Other Construction workers. This act was first introduced to solve the issues of unskilled labourers who work intensively and also in pitiful conditions. This act was introduced by the government of India as the “Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996”.

Why the “BOCW” act was introduced?

The BOCW act was introduced to monitor the working conditions of the workers. When the blue-collar workers in building and construction work area are been pressurised with vigorous time and work condition, this act helps. It is considered as a social welfare scheme that works with the motive to provide benefits to the workers who are involved in the activities related to building and construction across the country. “An act to regulate the employment and conditions of service of building and other construction workers and to provide for their safety, health and welfare measures and for other matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

The preamble of the Act 

The zone of the BOCW Act is extensive, its aspects cover the framework of other labour law legislations but specifically talking it coordinates a lot with the Factories Act, 1948.

What the BOCW act does

  • The BOCW Act enable to ensure that workers are not being exploited and a healthy and safe working environment is provided to them.
  • It is made a mandate by the Government of India for every State government to constitute their own Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Boards.
  • The BOCW functions to provide quick help to the workers in case of any mishap or accident, providing pensions, issuing loans for house construction, making payments related to premia for Group Insurance Scheme, providing financial aid for children’s education, supporting workers by carrying their medical expenses in case of a major ailment.
  • Each building labourer who is between the age of 18 and 60 and has been engaged with any building or other development work for at the last 90 days during the previous year is qualified for registration as a recipient of the BOCW Welfare Fund under this Act.
  • Workers can apply for the registration in the prescribed form with the requisite documents and registration fee which is not more than fifty rupees.
  • Application is filed to the officer authorized by the Board on this behalf.

Coverage of the Act

Since the Factories act has limited coverage in regard to Building and Construction, the BOCW was enabled.

  • As per Section 2(d) of the BOCW Act, “building or other construction work” covers “the construction, alteration, repairs, maintenance or demolition- of or, in relation to, buildings, streets, roads, railways, tramways, airfields, irrigation, drainage, embankment and navigation works, flood control works (including stormwater drainage works), generation, transmission and distribution of power, waterworks including channels for distribution of water.

 

  • Oil and gas installations, electric lines, wireless, radio; television, telephone, telegraph and overseas communication dams, canals, reservoirs, watercourses, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, aqueducts, pipelines, towers, cooling towers, transmission towers and such other work as may be specified in this behalf by the appropriate Government, by notification but does not include any building or other construction work to which the provisions of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948), or the Mines Act, 1952 (35 of 1952), apply.”

 

  •  “Building or other construction work” is mentioned in a way that it does not cover any building or other construction work to which the laws of the Factories Act, 1948 applicable. Employers use this exclusion clause of Section 2(d) to escape themselves from the registration process and tax under the BOCW Act. Employers who are already registered under the Factories Act, 1948, don’t want to get registered under the purview of the BOCW Act.

who is employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity; or.

who, being employed in a supervisory capacity, draws wages exceeding one thousand six hundred rupees per month or exercises, either by the nature of the duties attached to the office or by reason of the powers vested in him, functions mainly of a managerial nature;

(c) “Contractor”– means a person who undertakes to produce a given result for any establishment, other than a mere supply of goods or articles of manufacture, by the employment of building workers or who supplies building workers for any work of the establishment; and includes a sub-contractor

(d) “Employer”– in relation to an establishment, means the owner thereof and includes,-

(i) In relation to a building or other construction work carried on by or under the authority of any department of the Government, directly without any contractor, the authority specified in this behalf, or where no authority is specified, the head of the department;

(ii) In relation to a building or other construction work carried on by or on behalf of a local authority or another establishment, directly without any contractor, the chief executive officer of that authority or establishment;

 (iii) In relation to a building or other construction work carried on by or through a contractor, or by the employment of building workers supplied by a contractor, the contractor;

(e) “Establishment”- means any establishment belonging to, or under the control of, Government, any body corporate or firm, an individual or association or other body of individuals which or who employs building workers in any building or other construction work; and includes an establishment belonging to a contractor, but does not include an individual who employs such workers in any building or construction work in relation to his own residence the total cost of such construction not being more than rupees ten lakhs;