Kerala Construction Workers' Welfare Fund Act, 1989
(Kerala Act 20 of 1989)
Last Updated 26th December, 2019 [ker177]
(a) "Board" means the Kerala Construction Workers' Welfare Fund Board constituted under section 16 ;
(b) "Chief Executive Officer" means the Chief Executive Officer of the Board appointed under section 19 ;
(c) "Construction Work" means any construction work carried out by the State Government or quasi-governmental agency or by a public or private undertaking or by a Society or by a private individual and includes construction of any building, road, pathway, causeway, bridge, culvert, canal, tank, channel, pond, dam, tunnel, sea walls, walls for the prevention of soil erosion, embankments, bunds, drainage, kanas, culverts, jetties, compound walls, well, and the like, breaking of rocks and rubbles and the repair in whatsoever manner relating thereto and the demolition thereof but does not include the construction works relating to places of public worship or construction wok for a residence by a person for his own residential purposes costing not more than Rs. One lakh, repair works other than extension and reconstruction of his residence, construction work undertaken by the Government of India or any of its establishments or institutions;
(d) "Construction Workers" means any person who is employed for wages to do any work in connection with a construction work and who gets his wages directly or indirectly from an employer or from a contractor and includes a person engaged in any work connected with the supply of materials for construction works and a worker specified in any categories in Schedule IExplanation. - If any doubt arises as to whether a person is or is not a construction worker for the purpose of this Act, the question shall be referred to the Chief Executive Officer or an officer authorised by the Government in this behalf whose decision thereon shall be final ;
(e) "Contractor" means any person registered as a contractor with any Department of the Government of Kerala or with any Department of any other State Government, or with any local authority or with the Kerala Water Authority or Devaswam Boards or Universities in the State, for carrying out construction work for consideration or any person carrying out construction work for consideration for a Government Company as defined in section 617 of the companies Act, 1956 (Central Act 1 of 1956) for any Board, Corporation or Society owned or controlled by the Government of Kerala and includes the Kerala State Construction Corporation ;
(f) "contribution" means the sum of money payable to the Fund by employers and construction workers under section 8;
(g) "Employer" means,-
(i) In the case of construction work undertaken for the State Government or for the Local authority or for the Kerala Water Authority or for any Universities in the State or for a Kerala Government Company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (Central Act 1 of 1956) or for a Board, Corporation or a Society owned or controlled by the Kerala Government the contractor;
(ii) In any other case, the person for whom construction work is done.
(h) "family" means the husband or wife and minor sons and unmarried daughters of the construction worker and the parents solely dependent on the construction worker.
(i) "Fund" means the Kerala Construction Workers' Welfare Fund established under section 3 and the Scheme;
(j) "member" means any person registered as construction worker under section 4 and makes contribution to the Fund under section 8;
(k) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(l) "Scheme" means the Scheme framed under this Act;
(m) "Society" means any Society registered or deemed to be registered under the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act, 1969 (21 of 1969) or the Travancore-cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955 (12 of 1955) or the Societies Registration Act 1860 (Central Act XXI of 1860) ;
(n) "year" means financial year.3. Kerala Construction Workers' Welfare Fund. - (1) The Government may, by notification in the Gazette, frame a scheme to be called the Kerala Construction Workers' Welfare Fund Scheme for the establishment of a Fund under this Act for the Welfare of the construction workers and there shall be established as soon as may be after the framing of the scheme, a Fund in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the scheme. (2) The Fund shall vest in and be administered by the Board. (3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the scheme may provide for all or any of the matters specified in Schedule II. (4) There shall be credited to the Fund,-
(a) the contribution specified in section 8 ;
(b) fee levied under sections 4 and 9 and under the scheme;
(c) grant or loan or advances, if any, made by the Government of India or by the State Government or any local authority ;
(d) the amount borrowed by the Board under section 20 ;
(e) the damages realised under section 23;
(f) any amount raised by the Board from other sources to augment the resources of the Board ;
(g) any donation or grant made by any person or institution;
(h) any other amount which, under the provisions of the scheme, shall be credited to the Fund.(5) The scheme framed under this Act or any modification thereto made under section 15 shall be laid, as soon as may be, after it is framed or modified, as the case may be, before the Legislative Assembly, while it is in session for a total period of fourteen days which may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions, and if before the Legislative Assembly, while it is in session for a total period of fourteen days which may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions, and if before the expiry of the session in which it is so laid or the session immediately following, the legislative assembly makes any modification in the scheme or decides that any provision of the sc scheme should not be made, the scheme shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be ; so however that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under the scheme. 4. Registration of construction worker as member. - (1) Every construction worker who has completed 18 years of age, but has not completed 60 years of age, who is not a member of any other Welfare Fund Scheme established under any law for the time being in force and who has been engaged in the construction work for not less than ninety days during the preceding year shall be eligible for registration as a member under this Act and the Scheme (2) An application for registration shall be made in such form as may be prescribed to the officer authorised by the Chief Executive Officer in this behalf in whose jurisdiction the applicant resides. (3) Every application shall be accompanied by such documents together with the fee for registration as may be specified in the scheme. (4) If the officer authorised under sub-section (2) is satisfied that the applicant has complied with the provisions of this Act and the scheme, he may register the name of the construction worker : Provided that an application for registration shall not be rejected without giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard. (5) Any person aggrieved by the decision under sub-section (4) may, within such time as may be specified in the scheme, prefer an appeal to the Chief Executive Officer or any other authority as may be specified by the Government in this behalf and the decision of the Chief Executive Officer or of such other authority on such appeal shall be final. (6) The Chief Executive Officer shall cause to maintain the registers as may be prescribed in this behalf. 5. Responsibility of the construction workers to produce proof. - Every registered construction worker shall be given an identity card with his photograph duly affixed and with enough space for entering the details of the construction work done by him. Every employer shall enter in the card in the appropriate space provided for the purpose, the details of the construction work done by the construction worker and authenticate the same and return it to the construction worker. The card should be produced whenever demanded for inspection. 6. Cessation of membership. - Subject to the provisions of this Act, a construction worker shall cease to be a member when he attains sixty years of age or when he is not engaged in construction work for not less than ninety days in an year: Provided that if the Chief Executive Officer is convinced within such time as may be prescribed that he could not engage himself in construction work for sufficient reasons, he shall not cease to be a member. 7. Maintenance of register by contractor. - Every contractor shall maintain a register in the prescribed form showing the details of employment of registered construction workers employed in the construction work undertaken by him and which may be inspected without prior notice by the Chief Executive Officer or any other officer authorised by him. 8. Contribution to the Fund. - (1) A member of the Fund shall contribute to the Fund at the rate specified in any of the slabs hereunder:-
A. Ten rupees per month
B. Fifteen rupees per month
C. Twenty rupees per monthProvided that a member may change his rate of contribution at his option at the commencement of any year. (2) An Employer shall contribute one per cent of the cost of the construction work undertaken by him to the fund. (3) In case where the employer is a Contractor, the contribution payable under sub-section (2) shall be recovered by the Departments, Authorities, Company or other undertakings mentioned in item (i) in clause (g) of section 2 from the bills payable to the contractor and paid to the Fund within fifteen days in the manner prescribed. In the case of other employers, the contribution shall be paid in such manner to such authority and within such time as may be prescribed. (4) The Government shall pay to the Fund every year an amount by way of grant which shall not be less than ten per cent of the contribution initially made by a member of the Fund under sub-section (1). 9. Levy of fee from contractors. - (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law or agreement for the time being in force, with effect on and from the commencement of this Act, there shall also be levied every year a fee from every contractor calculated at the following rates in the manner prescribed, namely; -
1. Contractor having A Class registration Rs.1,000 per year.
2. Contractor having B Class registration Rs. 500 per year
3. Contractor having C Class registration Rs.250 per year
4. Contractor having D Class registration Rs.100 per year.(2) The fee levied under sub-section (1) shall be credited to the Fund. (3) The authority granting the licence shall not issue or renew licence to a contractor unless he is satisfied that the fee mentioned in sub-section (1) has already been paid. 10. Interest to be credited to the fund. - (1) The Board shall cause to deposit periodically the balance amount outstanding with the Fund, after meeting the administrative and other expenses, in term deposit with the Schedule Banks or Treasuries or the Kerala State Co-operative Bank or District Co-operative Banks and the interest accrued thereon shall be credited to the Fund. (2) There shall be credited to the accounts of each member, within six months of the close of each financial year, an amount equal to the interest at the rates fixed by the Board on the amount outstanding to the credit of each member at that time. 11. Forfeiture of membership in case of non-payment of contribution. - When a member has not paid his contribution under sub-section (1) of section 8, for a continuous period of not less than one year, his membership shall automatically stand forfeited :
"Provided that if the Chief Executive Officer is convinced within such time as may be prescribed that the non-payment of contribution was on reasonable grounds, he shall not cease to be a member.12. Failure to recover or renal contribution. - Where any Department of Government, Authority, Company, or other institutions liable to pay contribution, under sub-section (3) of section 8, fails to recover the contribution of the contractor from the bills, such institution shall be liable to pay such contribution together with simple interest at the rate of nine per cent from the date of passing the bill or bills in which such recovery had to be effected till the date on which such amount of contribution is remitted to the Fund. 13. Closure of accounts. - (1) The amount outstanding in the account of a member shall be returned to him when he ceases to be a member under sections 6 or 11. (2) In case a member does not wish to continue his membership, the amount outstanding to his credit shall be returned to him, upon his application, in the manner prescribed. 14. Purposes for which Fund may be expended. - Subject to the provision of this Act and Scheme, the Fund shall be expended for the following purposes, namely :-
(1) Payment of pension to a member who is unable to work due to permanent disablement or who has completed the age of sixty years;
(2) Payment of gratuity to the members of the Fund;
(3) Payment of immediate assistance to members of the Fund in case of accidents;
(4) for giving financial assistance for the funeral expenses of the members and family members;
(5) for sanctioning loans and advances to members for construction of houses for their residence on such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the Board ;
(6) for meeting the expenses in connection with the premia for Group Insurance of the members as the Board may deem fit;
(7) for giving financial assistance for the education of the children of the members as may be decided by the Board;
(8) for meeting medical expenses of the members or their dependents as may be decided by the Board ;
(9) for payment of family pension ;
(10) for payment of maternity benefits;
(11) for payment of financial assistance to members to meet expenses of the marriage of their children ;
(12) for any other purpose specified in the scheme.15. Modification of scheme. - The Government may, by notification the Gazette, add to amend or vary the scheme either prospectively or retrospectively. 16. Constitution of Board. - (1) The Government may, by notification in the Gazette, constitute with effect from such date as may be specified in such notification a Board to be called the Kerala Construction Workers' Welfare Fund Board for the administration of the Fund and to supervise or carry out the activities financed from the Fund. (2) The Board shall be a body corporate by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal and shall by the said name sue and be sued. (3) The Board shall consist of 15 directors nominated by the Government as hereinafter provided, namely:
(i) Five members representing the Construction Workers.
(ii) Five members representing the contractors and other employers
(iii) Five members representing the Government.(4) One of the Directors of the Board shall be appointed by the Government to be its Chairman. (5) The Government shall publish the names of the Chairman and the Directors of the Board in the Gazette. (6) The Board shall administer the Fund in such manner as may be specified in the scheme. (7) The Board may, with the previous approval of the Government, delegate to its Chairman or to the Chief Executive Officer or to any officer appointed under sub-section (1) of section 19 such of its powers and functions under this Act or the scheme as it may consider necessary for the efficient administration of the Fund, subject to such restrictions and conditions, if any, as it may specify. 17. Term of Office of Directors. - (1) A Director nominated under sub-section (3) of section 16 shall hold office for a period of three years. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 18, the Government may, at any time, for reasons to be recorded in writing remove from office any Director of the Board after giving him a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the proposed removal: Provided that it shall not be necessary to record in writing the reason for the removal or to give an opportunity of showing cause against the proposed removal if the Government are of the opinion that it is not expedient in the public interest to record the reasons in writing or to give such opportunity. (3) Any Director may resign him membership by giving notice in writing to the Government. The resignation shall be deemed to have come into effect from the date of the resignation letter. 18. Removal of non-official Directors. - (1) The Government may, by notification in the Gazette, remove any non-official Director of the Board from office,-
(a) if, he has, without the permission of the Board, been absent from the meetings of the Board for three consecutive meetings :Provided, however, that such absence may be condoned by the Board before the publication of the notification the Official Gazette ;
(b) if he, in the opinion of the Government, is unsuitable or has become incapable of acting as a Director or has so abused his position as a Director as to render his continuance as such Director detrimental to the public interest:Provided that before removing a Director under this sub-section, he shall be given a reasonable opportunity to show cause why he should not be removed. (2) A non-official Director of the Board removed under clause (a) of sub-section (1) shall be disqualified for renomination as a Director of the Board for a period of three years from the date of his removal unless otherwise ordered by the Government. (3) A non-official Director of the Board removed under clause (b) of sub-section (1) shall not be eligible for renomination until he is declared by an order of the Government to be no longer ineligible. 19. Appointment of officers and staff. - (1) The Government may appoint Chief Executive Officer and such number of other officers and staff as they consider necessary to assist the Board in the discharge of its functions and duties under this Act. (2) The method of recruitment, salary and allowances, discipline and other conditions of service of the Chief Executive Officer and the other officers and staff appointed under sub-section (1) shall be such as may be prescribed. (3) In the case of appointments to the posts in the service under the Board made by direct recruitment, the Government shall mutatis mutandis follow the provisions of clauses (a), (b) and (c) of rule 14 and the provisions of rules 15, 16, 17 and 17A of the Kerala State and Subordinate Services Rules, 1958 as amended from time to time. 20. Power of the Board to borrow. - The Board may from time to time with the previous sanction of Government and subject to the provisions of this Act and to such conditions as may be prescribed in this behalf, borrow any sum required for the purposes of the Scheme. 21. Priority of payment of contribution over the debts. - Where any contractor is adjudicated insolvent or the contractor is a company and an order for winding up of such company is made, the amount due from the contractor under this Act or the Scheme shall, where the liability therefor has accrued before the order for adjudication or winding up is made, be deemed to be included among the debts which under section 64 of the Insolvency Act, 1955 (2 of 1956), or under section 530 of the Companies Act, 1956 (Central Act 1 of 1956), are to be paid in priority to all other debts in the distribution of the property of the insolvent or the assets of the company being wound up, as the case may be. 22. Mode of recovery of money. - Any amount due from the contractors, employers and construction workers under the provisions of this Act or the scheme may, if the amount is in arrears, be recovered in the same manner as an arrear of public revenue due on land. 23. Power to recover damages. - Where an employer or contractor makes default in the payment of any contribution to the Fund, the Government may recover from him such damages, not exceeding twenty-five per cent of the amount of arrears, as they think fit. 24. Directors of Board etc., to be public servants. - Every Director of the Board nominated under sub-section (3) of section 16, the Chief Executive Officer and other officers and members of the staff of the Board appointed under sub-section (1) of section 19 shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (Central Act 45 of 1860). 25. Penalties . - (1) Whoever, for the purpose of avoiding any payment to be made by him under this Act or under the scheme or of enabling any other person to avoid any payment to be made under this Act or the scheme, knowingly makes or causes to be made any false statement or false representation shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both. (2) Whoever refuses to make the entries in the identity card of the members as required under section 5 and whoever not maintaining the registers required under section 7 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees or with both. (3) Whoever contravenes or makes default in complying with any of the provisions of this Act or of the scheme shall, if no other penalty is else-where provided by or under this Act for such contravention or non-compliance be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two months or with fine which may extend to four hundred rupees, or with both. (4) No court inferior to that of a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class shall try any offence punishable under this Act. (5) No court shall take cognisance of any offence punishable under this Act. except on a report in writing of the facts constituting such offence made with the previous sanction of the Chief Executive Officer. 26. Enhanced punishment for second or subsequent offence. - Whoever, having been convicted by a court of an offence punishable under this Act, again commits the same offence shall be punishable for every such subsequent offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, but which shall not be less than three months; and with fine which may extend to four thousand rupees: Provided that the Court may, for any adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than three months. 27. Offences by companies. - (1) Where an offence under this act has been committed by a company, every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly: Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to, any neglect on the part of any Director, Manager, Secretary or other officer of the company, such Director, Manager, Secretary or other officer shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Explanation. - For the purpose of this section,-
(a) "Company" means any body corporate and includes a firm a Society or other association of individuals; and
(b) "Director" in relation to a firm means a partner in the firm.28. Directions by Government. - (1) The Government may give to the Board general directions to be followed by the Board. (2) In the exercise of its powers and performance of its duties under this Act, the Board shall not depart from any general direction issued under sub-section (1) except with the previous permission of the Government. 29. Power to order inquiry. - (1) The Government may at any time, appoint an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary to Government to inquire into the working of the Board and to submit a report to the Government. (2) The Board shall give the person so appointed all facilities for the proper conduct of the inquiry and furnish to him such documents accounts and information in the possession of the Board as he may require. 30. Power to supersede the Board. - (1) If, on consideration of the report under section 29 or otherwise, the Government are of opinion that the Board has persistently made made default in the performance of the duties imposed on it by or under the provisions of this Act or the Scheme or has exceeded or abused its power the Government may, by notification in the Gazette, supersede the Board for such period not exceeding six months as may be specified in the notification: Provided that before issuing a notification under this sub-section, the Government shall give a reasonable opportunity to the Board to show cause why it should not be superseded and shall consider the explanation and objections, if any, of the Board. (2) Upon the publication of the notification under sub-section (1),-
(a) all the Directors of the Board shall, as from the date of such publication be deemed to have vacated their offices as such Directors;
(b) all the powers and duties which may be exercised or performed by the Board shall, during the period of supersession be exercised or performed by such officer or officers as may be specified in the notification ;
(c) all funds and other properties vested in the Board shall, during the period of supersession, vest in the Government.(3) On the expiration of the period of supersession, the Government shall constitute the Board in the manner provided under section 16. 31. Protection of action taken in good faith. - No suit or other legal proceedings shall lie against any Director of the Board or the Chief Executive Officer or any other person in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or any rule made thereunder or under the scheme. 32. Audit of Accounts of the Board and appointment of Auditors. - (1) The Board shall, appoint auditors to audit the accounts of the Board. (2) The accounts of the Board shall be examine and audited once in every year by such auditors. 33. Annual report and audited statement of accounts. - (1) The annual report of the Board shall be prepared under the direction of the Board and after approval by the Board, a copy of the report together with the audited statement of accounts shall be submitted to Government before the end of July every year. (2) The Government shall, as soon as the annual report is received, cause the same together with the audited statement of accounts to be laid on the table of the Legislative Assembly. 34. Bar of jurisdiction of Civil Courts. - No civil court shall have jurisdiction to settle, decide or deal with any question or to determine any matter which is by or under this Act or the scheme required to be settled, decided or dealt with or to be determined by the Government or the Board or the Chief Executive Officer or any other Officer appointed under sub-section (1) of section 19. 35. Special provisions for transfer of accumulation from welfare fund established by any Act or agreement. - Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, on the date of commencement of this Act the sums standing to the credit of a member in any other welfare fund established either by any law or agreement shall stand transferred to and credited to the Fund established under this Act and the liability of such member to pay contribution to such other welfare funds shall cease from such date. 36. Removal of difficulties. - (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act the government may, as occasion may require, by order do anything not inconsistent with this Act or the rules made thereunder which appears to them necessary for the purpose of removing the difficulty : Provided that no such order shall be passed after two years from the date of commencement of this Act. (2) Every order made under sub-section (1) shall be laid before the State Legislature. 37. Power to make rules. - (1) The Government may, by notification in the Gazette, make rules either prospectively or retrospectively for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this Act. (2) Every rule made under this Act shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made, before the Legislative Assembly while it is in session for a total period of fourteen days which may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session in which it is so laid or the session immediately following, the Legislative Assembly makes any modification in the rule or decides that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect as the case may be ; so however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule. 38. Repeal. - The Kerala Construction Workers Welfare Fund Ordinance, 1989 (3 of 1989 is hereby repealed.
The Schedule I
(See section 2 (d))
1. Brick masons
2. Rubble masons
3. Laterite masons
4. Laterite cutters
5. Brick moulders
11. Sawyers other than the saw mill workers
12. Workers engaged in laying iron rods for concreting
13. Maikadu workers connected with construction works
14. Workers engaged in collecting sand and gravel
15. Mosaic workers
16. Tunnel workers
17. Rock breakers and Quarry workers
19. Concrete workers
20. Workers engaged in thatching and spreading tiles
21. Marble/Kadappa Stone workers
22. Road Workers
23. Earth workers connected with construction works
24. Workers engaged in processing lime.
25. Welders engaged in construction works
26. Workers engaged in anti sea erosion works.
The Schedule II
[See section 3 (3)]Matters for which provisions may be made in the Scheme:
1. Time and manner in which contribution shall be made to the fund by the construction workers and the employers.
2. Time and manner in which the contribution of the members is to be remitted to the Fund.
3. The manner in which the registration of the construction workers is to be done.
4. The constitution of any committee for assisting the Board.
5. The manner in which accounts shall be kept, the investment of money belonging to the fund in accordance with any directions issued or conditions specified by the Government, the preparation of the budget, the audit of accounts and the submission of reports to the Government etc.
6. The conditions under which withdrawal from the Fund may be permitted and any deduction or forfeiture may be made and the maximum amount of such deduction or forfeiture.
7. The fixation of the rate of interest payable to members by the Board about himself and his family whenever required.
8. The form in which a construction worker shall furnish particulars about himself and his family whenever required.
9. The nomination of a person to receive the amount standing to the credit of a member after his death and the cancellation or variation of such nomination.
10. The registers and records to be maintained with respect to employees or employers or agencies.
11. The form or design of any identity card for the purpose of identifying any employee, and for issue, custody and replacement thereof.
12. The fees to be levied for any of the purposes specified in the Schedule.
13. The conditions under which a member may be permitted to pay premia on Group Insurance from the fund.
14. The further powers, if any, which may be exercised by the officers appointed under this Act.
15. The conditions of service, duties and remuneration of officers appointed under this Act.
16. The manner in which any welfare fund vested under section 35 is to be brought and credited to the accounts of the employees entitled thereto in the Fund.
17. The conditions under which and the manner in which the immediate assistance is payable to the members in cases of accident.
18. The conditions under which any amount due to the Board may be written off.
19. Payment of pension to the members of the Fund.
20. Payment of gratuity to the members of the Fund.
21. Payment of family pension
22. Payment of maternity benefits.
23. Payment of financial assistance to members to meet expenses for the marriage of children.
24. Any other matter not inconsistent with this Act which is to be provided for in the scheme or which may be necessary or proper for the purpose of implementing this Act and the scheme.