Employee Welfare and Employee Benefit on Workplace

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Employee Workplace Safety

Employees Health means “the provisions ensuring the health of workers in the conditions under which work is carried on the factories.” Employees Safety means ‘the activities that seek to minimize or to eliminate hazardous conditions that can cause bodily injury”. Occupational safety is concerned with risks in areas where people work; offices, manufacturing plants, farms, construction sites, and commercial and retail facilities, public safety is concerned with hazards in the home, in travel and recreation and in other situations that do not fall within the scope of occupational safety.

Employees Welfare means “the effort to make life worth living for workmen”. When all basic facilities are provided, and employees obtain satisfaction then the productivity can be increased, and development of the organization will be possible.

Types of Employee Welfare

Employee welfare can be categorized as statutory or non-statutory, meaning as required by the law or by the will of the management respectively. Welfare activities can also be classified as either intra-mural (inside the workplace) or extra-mural (outside the workplace).

Intramural welfare facilities are those within the working environment and include condition of the working environment (safety, cleanliness, and safety measures), employee convenience (bathrooms, drinking water), health services (first aid and treatment center, ambulance, counseling) and women and child welfare (family planning services, maternity aid).

Extramural welfare activities are diverse with many of them being sponsored by government acts. Some include comfortable residences, proper roads and infrastructure and sanitation while constitutional acts such as The Factories Act Of 1948 and Contract Labor Act Of 1970 are examples of Governmental welfare activities.

Concept of Employee Welfare

The International Employee Organization (ILO) at its Asian Regional Conference, defined Employee Welfare as a term which is understood to include such services, facilities and amenities as may be established in or in the vicinity of undertakings to enable the persons employed in them to perform their work in healthy, congenial surroundings and to provide them with amenities conducive to good health and high morale.

Welfare includes anything that is done for the comfort and improvement of employees and is provided over and above the wages. Welfare helps in keeping the morale and motivation of the employees high to retain the employees for longer duration. The welfare measures need not be in monetary terms only but in any kind/forms. Employee welfare includes monitoring of working conditions, creation of industrial harmony through infrastructure for health, industrial relations and insurance against disease, accident and unemployment for the workers and their families. Employee welfare entails all those activities of employer which are directed towards providing the employees with certain facilities and services in addition to wages or salaries.

Objectives of Employee Welfare:

  1. To provide better life and health to the workers
  2. To make the workers happy and satisfied
  3. To relieve workers from industrial fatigue and to improve intellectual, cultural and material conditions of living of the workers.

The basic features of Employee welfare measures are as follows:

  • Employee welfare includes various facilities, services and amenities provided to workers for improving their health, efficiency, economic betterment and social status.
  • Welfare measures are in addition to regular wages and other economic benefits available to workers due to legal provisions and collective bargaining.
  • Employee welfare schemes are flexible and ever-changing. New welfare measures are added to the existing ones from time to time.
  • Welfare measures may be introduced by the employers, government, employees or by any social or charitable agency.
  • The purpose of Employee welfare is to bring about the development of the whole personality of the workers to make a better workforce.

The very logic behind providing welfare schemes is to create efficient, healthy, loyal and satisfied Employee force for the organization. The purpose of providing such facilities is to make their work life better and to raise their standard of living. The important benefits of welfare measures can be summarized as follows:

  • They provide better physical and mental health to workers and thus promote a healthy work environment
  • Facilities like housing schemes, medical benefits, and education and recreation facilities for workers’ families help in raising their standards of living. This makes workers to pay more attention towards work and thus increases their productivity.
  • Employers get stable Employee force by providing welfare facilities. Workers take active interest in their jobs and work with a feeling of involvement and participation.
  • Employee welfare measures increase the productivity of organization and promote healthy industrial relations thereby maintaining industrial peace.
  • The social evils prevalent among the Employees such as substance abuse, etc are reduced to a greater extent by the welfare policies.

Organizations provide welfare facilities to their employees to keep their motivation levels high. The employee welfare schemes can be classified into two categories viz. statutory and non-statutory welfare schemes. The statutory schemes are those schemes that are compulsory to provide by an organization as compliance to the laws governing employee health and safety. These include provisions provided in industrial acts like Factories Act 1948, Dock Workers Act (safety, health and welfare) 1986, Mines Act 1962. The non-statutory schemes differ from organization to organization and from industry to industry.

Some Of Employee Welfare Laws In India

  • Factories Act, 1948
  • Maternity Benefit Act,1961 (with latest amendments)
  • Employee State Insurance Act, [ESI] 1948
  • Employees' Provident Fund Scheme, 1952.
  • Payment of Bonus Act, 1965

Statuary Welfare Benefits

The statutory welfare benefits schemes include the following provisions:

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  1. Drinking-Water: At all the working places safe hygienic drinking water should be provided.
  2. Facilities for sitting: In every organization, especially factories, suitable seating arrangements are to be provided.
  3. First Aid appliances: First aid appliances are to be provided and should be readily assessable so that in case of any minor accident initial medication can be provided to the needed employee.
  4. Latrines and Urinals: Enough latrines and urinals are to be provided in the office and factory premises and are also to be maintained in a neat and clean condition.
  5. Canteen facilities: Cafeteria or canteens are to be provided by the employer so as to provide hygienic and nutritious food to the employees.
  6. Spittoons: In every workplace, such as warehouses, store places, in the dock area and office premises spittoons are to be provided in convenient places and same are to be maintained in a hygienic condition.
  7. Lighting: Proper and enough lights are to be provided for employees so that they can work safely during the night shifts.
  8. Washing places: Adequate washing places such as bathrooms, wash basins with tap and tap on the standpipe are provided in the port area in the vicinity of the workplaces.
  9. Changing rooms: Adequate changing rooms are to be provided for workers to change their cloth in the factory area and office premises. Adequate lockers are also provided to the workers to keep their clothes and belongings.
  10. Rest rooms: Adequate numbers of restrooms are provided to the workers with provisions of water supply, wash basins, toilets, bathrooms, etc.
  11. Maternity & Adoption Leave: Employees can avail maternity or adoption leaves. Paternity leave policies have also been introduced by various companies.
  12. Medi-claim Insurance Scheme: This insurance scheme provides adequate insurance coverage of employees for expenses related to hospitalization due to illness, disease or injury or pregnancy.
  13. Sexual Harassment Policy: To protect an employee from harassments of any kind, guidelines are provided for proper action and for protecting the aggrieved employee. For more information go through - Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

Non-statutory Benefits

Many non-statutory welfare benefits may include the following schemes:

  1. Personal Health Care (Regular medical check-ups): Some of the companies provide free medical checkups.
  2. Flexi-time: The main objective of the flextime policy is to provide opportunity to employees to work with flexible working schedules. Flexible work schedules are initiated by employees and approved by management to meet business commitments while supporting employee personal life needs
  3. Employee Assistance Programs: Various assistant programs are arranged like external counseling service so that employees or members of their immediate family can get counseling on various matters.
  4. Employee Referral Scheme: In several company’s employee referral scheme is implemented to encourage employees to refer friends and relatives for employment in the organization.

Approaches To Employee Welfare

Approaches to employee welfare refer to the beliefs and attitudes held by agencies which provide welfare facilities. Some agencies provide welfare facilities inspired by religious faith, others as a philanthropic and the like.

The various approaches to Employee welfare reflect the attitudes and beliefs of the agen¬cies which are engaged in welfare activities. Welfare facilities may be provided on religious, philanthropic or some other grounds. Moreover, the different approaches to Employee welfare reflect the evolution of the concept of welfare.

In bygone days, the government of the land had to compel the owner of an industrial establishment to provide such basic amenities as canteens, rest rooms, drinking water, good working conditions, and so forth, for their employees. Such compulsion was necessary because the employer believed in exploiting Employee and treating it in an unfair manner. But times have changed, and the concept of welfare, too, has undergone changes. Many progressive managements today provide welfare facilities, voluntarily a restricted to the worker. They have noin general.

In other words, Employee welfare has been extended to include social welfare. Tata Steel Works at Jamshedpur, for example, spench year on social welfare. Brooke Bond have set up a free animal welfare clinic at Gevrai, Aurangabad, under the direct charge of a qualified veterinary doctor. Jindal Aluminum, Bangalore, maintains the famous Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences Centre and a public school for the benefit of the public. The Jindal Scholarship Trust has been set up, under which deserving students are given scholarships. The Hindustan Machine Tools has a big playground and a community hall, which are let out for competitions and functions.

A study of the approaches to Employee welfare is desirable for the management, the workers and the general reader. For the general reader, a study of approaches is essential because his/her knowledge of the subject is incomplete without a knowledge of these approaches, and a knowledge of approaches enables the manager and the worker to have a better perspective on welfare work.

Policing Theory

According to this view, the factory and other industrial workplaces provide ample opportunities for owners and managers of capital to exploit workers in an unfair manner. This could be done by making the Employee work for long hours, by paying workers low wages, by keeping the workplaces in an unhygienic condition, by neglecting safety and health provisions, and by ignoring the provision of elementary human amenities, such as drinking water, latrines, rest rooms and canteen. It enacts legislation under which managements are compelled to provide basic amenities to the workers.

Religion Theory

The Religion theory has two connotations, namely, the investment and atonement aspects. The investment aspect of the religion theory implies that the fruits of today's deeds will be reaped tomorrow. Any action, good or bad. is therefore treated as an investment. Inspired by this belief, some employers plan and organize canteens and crèches. The atonement aspect of the religion theory implies that the present disabilities of a person are the result of the sins committed by him/her previously.

Philanthropic Theory

Philanthropy means affection for mankind. The philanthropic theory of Employee welfare refers to the provi¬sion of good working conditions, crèches and canteens out of pity on the part of the employers who want to remove the disabilities of the workers.

Paternalistic Theory

According to the Paternalistic theory, also called the trusteeship theory, of Employee welfare, the industrialist or the employer holds the total industrial estate, properties and the profits accruing from them, in trust. The property which he/she can use or abuse as he/she likes is not entirely his/her own. He/she holds it for his/her use, no doubt, but also for the benefit of his/her workers,
if not for the whole society.

Placating Theory

Workers are like children who are intelligent, but not fully so. As crying children are pacified by sweets, workers should be pleased by welfare works.

Public Relations Theory

According to this theory, welfare activities are provided to create a good impression on the minds of the workers and the public, particularly the latter. Clean and safe working conditions, a good canteen, creche and other amenities, make a good impression on the workers, visitors and the public.

Functional Theory

Also known as the efficiency theory of Employee welfare, the functional theory implies that welfare facilities are provided to make the workers more efficient. Welfare work is a means of securing, preserving and increasing the efficiency of Employee.

Social Theory

The social theory implies that a factory is morally bound to improve the conditions of the society in addition to improving the condition of its employees. Employee welfare, as mentioned earlier, is gradually becoming social welfare.

Ideas For Super Employee Benefits

Here are some superior work benefits that may inspire you as you create or update your company benefits package:

  1. Refreshing Time Away-from-it-all - Consider following in the footsteps of Metis, a Boston company that offers your birthday off, plus closes up shop for the last week at year-end. If you can’t close the week before New Years (which is obviously a popular benefit) offer a “holiday week” of the employee’s choosing anytime of the year (with appropriate notice to the company).
  2. Productivity over presence -Work-at-home options are a big part of many company benefit lists these days, or they may be an attractive part of the actual job description. You can experiment with the idea without jumping in company-wide, and possibly save money on office space and associated expenses. You’ll still expect high productivity, of course.
  3. Enrichment (outside of money) -Employee development benefits your company–as well as the employees who are offered training or other unique team-building experiences. Offer to host guest speakers on topics in line with your company mission or expert master-classes in your industry to help advance your employees future
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