Under the Building and Construction workers Act 1996,
every state has to set up a Construction Worker Welfare
Board (CWWB) with representatives from workers,
employers, government.

Legal Framework for protection of rights of construction workers and their families:

  • Two comprehensive legislation at the national level which protect the interests of construction workers:

Building and Construction Workers (Regulation of employment and condition of service) Act, 1996

Building and other construction workers Cess Act, 1998.

  • The legislations are applicable to all individuals or associations employing workers in building and construction related activities, except for individual construction of housing values below Rs. 1 million and excludes anyone working in a supervisory role.
  • Under the Building and Construction workers Act 1996, every state has to set up a Construction Worker Welfare Board (CWWB) with representatives from workers, employers, government.
  • The CWWB is responsible for providing welfare services for workers and their families which fall under the categories of medical assistance, insurance, maternity benefits, accident cover, pension, group insurance cover and educational assistance to workers as well as their children.
  • CWWB is mandated to set up a welfare fund that received all money collected through a Cess levied on the construction of buildings and other works, employing construction workers. The cess levied on construction and other works is 1% of the cost of the project.

Provision of crèche facilities at worksites

In every place wherein, more than 50 female building workers are ordinarily employed, there shall be provided and maintained a suitable room or rooms for the use of children under the age of six years of such female workers. (2) Such rooms shall— (a) provide adequate accommodation; (b) be adequately lighted and ventilated; (c) be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition; (d) be under the charge of women trained in the care of children and infants”.

Source: The Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation Of Employment And Conditions Of Service) Act, 1996 Act No. 27 Of 1996.

Need of Early childcare (aged 0-6)

Migrant labourers frequently move alongside young children, particularly where the migration is of families (and not single earners). In the absence of crèches and childcare services, migrant children risk missing out on critical inputs necessary at this age for their physical, motor, cognitive, language and psychosocial development. Often one woman looks after multiple toddlers at once on a construction site, on a rotation basis, losing her wage for the day.

Mobile Creches puts for the following recommendations for quality crèches at construction sites:

  • Childcare should be provisioned for all the hours that the parents work (particularly in occupations like construction, where work begins early) and all children of workers must be covered under existing schemes.
  • There should be strong regulations to prevent employers from refusing to hire workers with children, and crèche facilities should be sufficient to cover all children of eligible age.
  • Regular inspections of the safety of the worksite for young children must be conducted, and a first aid kit must be present at the worksite at all times.
  • Provision of breastfeeding breaks for mothers must be mandatory.
  • Care in the early years is required with right nutrition, health and learning needs for the under 3 children and therefore, the need of crèches in multiple settings.
  • Creches combined with anganwadis in ICDS programme.
  • Creches strengthened under National Crèche Scheme.
  • Utilization of Cess collected under welfare funds to be used for crèche provision and maternity leave provision (untargeted compensation with minimum wages) as a mandate specific to construction industry.
  • Safe infrastructure and all facilities by construction company on site/close to labour colony.
  • All childcare services through trained childcare workers.
  • Child safety, protection and prevention against abuse a priority for all stakeholders, including construction company and onsite teams.