– Prof. (Dr.) B.P. Tiwari1

– Dr. Sunita Arya2

– Kusum Joshi3

“Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.”

(Article 23.1of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


Two distinct social classes came into existence like capitalist and labouror worker. Capitalist had wealth and so they had their own means of production but labour did not haveany means of production. The scientific and technologicalrevolution has increase the potentialities of labour, strengthening the latter’s role, leading to formation of

organization for labour improving thesocialforms of theorganization oflabour,promotingthe specialization and cooperation of labour and stimulating the growth of the social productivity of labour. In socialism system, the labour is socialized in planned manner. The means of production based on principal forms namely state property and cooperative property. Thus the work is divided into two categories- first is work done for oneself and the second is the work done for thebenefit ofsociety. Socialsecurity persist in socialism lifeold age and disability pensions, allowances to unmarried mothers, student grants, temporary disabilities benefit, maternity relief and social security for the persons who are unable to due to illness disablement, theattainment of the pensionable age and required length of service, interruption of one’s work in order to obtain an education or trainingthe mode of labouris an accordance with the modeof production and it is changing from time to time. In primitive system there was no concept of labour in their existing group ownership and regularizing distribution of the production. If they were any failures in production of some in the group and the success of some, then it would be balanced and then it is satisfied on the whole minimum requirement of all.

Manu, the law-giver of ancient India, ordained that the king should support all his subjects as earth does for all the living beings, without discrimination. The epic Mahabharat mentions thatthe kingshould look after the welfare of the disabled, helpless, orphans, widows, victims of calamities, and pregnant women by meeting their minimum needs. Kautilya,the greatesteconomist ofthe medievalperiod ofIndian history, said, “In the happiness of his subjects lays the king’s happiness, in their welfare his welfare…” Mahatma Gandhi viewed work more as duty than as right.4 These visions give strength to the State to guarantee as wellas promote the right to work in society.


The right to work is directly concerned with the other vital rights such as the right to life, the right to food, right to livelihood and the right to education. In a nation where many people aredeprived ofany economic assets other than labour power,gainful employmentis essentialfor these rights to be fulfilled. In fact, unemployment is the main cause of widespread poverty and hunger in India. The right to work States that everyone should be given the opportunity to work for a basic living wage.5 The right to work is the concept that people have a human right to work, or engage in productive employment, and may not be prevented from doing so. Theright to work is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Indian Constitution and recognized in internationalhuman rights lawthrough its inclusion in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, where the right to work emphasizes economic,socialand culturaldevelopment.The right to work is the first of the specific rights recognized in the ICESCR. After part II of the Covenant, on determining the nature of states’ obligations, part III on specific rights immediately starts with the right to work (Art. 6). The right to work deals exclusively with access to work, and hence persons who do not have access to work are the main concern. In spite of its great importance, the right to work itself is relatively little detailed. Much work has been done on questions like discriminatory access to work, but not on the rightto work itself. There are few international instruments on the topic; the ILO Employment Policy Convention of 1964 (No. 122) is one of them.6 Right To Work And NationalRural Employment Guarantee Act, 2004 is safeguard the Right to work by producing guaranteed employment at the statutory minimum wage to at least one adult person to every household who volunteers to do or agree on casual manuallabour in rural areas.


Part III of the Constitution of India provides Right to work is right now as a FundamentalRight which is justifiable as well. The remedy for the employment itself is declared as a fundamentalRight. The State shall not deny to any person equally before the law or the equal protection of laws with in the territory of India.4 No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.7 Everyone, without any discrimination has the Right to equal pay for equal work. Everyone who is workinghas the Right to just and reasonable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy human dignity, and supplementary if necessary, by other means of socialprotection. Further Constitution said that everyone has the Right to form and to join trade unions for the protection ofhis interests.8 Every person has the Right to life and personal liberty enshrined under Art.21. The Right to life means the Right to live decently as a member of a civilized society. Thus, Right to live with human dignity is the fundamentalRight of every person.

Thus the work provides means of livelihood, former Chief Justice Chandrachud, agree that a person possible to live. Right to work can be considered as a fundamentalRight only in cases where legislative guarantee is given in the form of legislation,9 in another case10 it was held that Right to work is not a fundamentalRight but it can be claimed after employment.

Part IV of Constitution of India sets out the aims and objectives to be taken up by the stats in the governance of the country. These objectives impose a moral duty on the State to apply them while making laws for the purpose of establishing a socialwelfare State.11

The State shall make the effective provisions for securing the Right to work, education, and public assistance in case of unemploymentof old age, sickness and disablement.12 The State shall make provision for securing just and human conditions of work for maternity relief.13 the State shall secure living wages for workers, a decent standard of life and fullemployment of leisureand socialand culturalopportunities and promotecottage industries on an individual orcooperation basis in rural areas.14 In the Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India,15 case the Supreme Court held that The right to live with human dignity enshrined inArticle 21derives its life breath from the Directive Principles of State Policy and particularly clauses (e) and (f) of Article 39 and Article 41 and 42 and at the least, therefore, it must include protection of the health and strength of workers, men and women, and of the tender age of children against abuse, opportunities and facilities for children to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity, educational facilities, just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. These are the minimum requirements which must exist in order to enablea person to live with human dignity and no State has the right to take any action which will deprive a person of the enjoyment of these basic essentials.

The State shallsecure the participation of workers in management of industries.16 The State shall take steps to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.17


This Act is enacted to safeguard to ‘Right to work’. The effective provision for safeguarding the Right to work is a duty of the state.18 Safeguard the Right to work is also essential for the realization of other constitutional Right such as the Right to life,Right to food and Right to education. Providing guaranteed employmentin ruralareas would be a major step towards in the realization of the Right to work. A program of guaranteed employment could also contribute to other important objectives such as infrastructural development, so that equality, environmentalprotection,and empowermentof women.

A decentralizeattitude to the provision of guaranteed employment would help to promote people’s participation in development, planning and local governance.


It is obvious that the Employment GuaranteeAct would go a long way in protecting ruralpeoples from poverty and hunger. Thus the schemes fullpledged employment guaranteeact would enable mostpoor people in Indiato cross the poverty line. Ifwork is available in village Panchayat area, May families wellstay on place instead of heading for the town to cities. This act would be major source of empowerment for women as it willgive some economic independence to poorer.