Employee Welfare Activities in Private Sector and Their Impact on Quality of Work Life

Employee Welfare Activities in Private Sector and Their Impact on Quality of Work Life

Chandra Sekhar Patro (Department of Management Studies, VITS College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India)
DOI: 10.4018/ijpmat.2012040102
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During the last few years the private organisations are playing an important role in the overall development of the economy. In today’s competitive economy, the business organizations need to focus explicitly on providing the welfare facilities to the employees as it results in their satisfaction towards the organisation and it results in improved quality of work life. The activity of nurturing and nourishing constitutes in essence what is called “Welfare”. Welfare facilities enable the employees to live a richer and more satisfactory life. The various Welfare activities that can be provided to the employees include provision of loans, free medical facilities, retirement benefits, education facilities for the employee’s and their families, housing benefits, etc. Many organisations facilitate these welfare activities to their employees to keep their motivation levels high. The basic purpose of employee’s welfare is to enrich the life of employees and keep them happy and contended. A study was undertaken in Visakhapatnam District at Andhra Pradesh, India to identify the various employee welfare activities practiced by different private sector undertakings and its impact on the quality of work life of the employees.
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The private sector undertakings are usually composed of organizations that are privately owned and not a part of the government. These usually include corporations, enterprises, companies or business, regardless of size, ownership and structure. It may cover all sectors of the food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries systems from production to consumption, including associated services like financing, investment, insurance, marketing, education and trade.

Employee welfare implies that welfare is fundamentally an attitude of mind on the part of management, influencing the method by which management activities are an undertaken. Welfare activities help to retain the employees and create positive image about the organisation for longer period of time. It also helps to motivate and improve the morale of the employees. Employees' welfare includes providing healthy working environment, increasing the standard of living of the employees and their families. The welfare measures need not be in monetary terms only but in any kind/forms. Adequate levels of earnings, safe and humane conditions of work and Access to some minimum social security benefits are the major qualitative dimensions of employment which enhance quality of life of employees and their productivity. Employee welfare is the key to smooth employee - employer relationships.

According to the report of the Asian regional conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the term “Employee welfare is understood to include such services facilities and amenities which may be established in or in the incite of undertakings to enable the persons employed whether to perform their own in healthy congenial surroundings and provide them amenities conductive to good health and high morale”. Welfare facilities are in addition to regular wages and other economic benefits available to employees due to legal provisions and collective bargaining. The purpose of employee welfare is to bring about the development of the whole personality of the employees’ to make a better workforce. The social and economic aspects of the life of an employee have a direct influence on the social and economic development of the nation. There is every need to take extra care of the employees by providing both statutory and non-statutory facilities to them.

The welfare activities may also be categorized as Intramural and Extramural facilities. Intra-mural activities consist of facilities provided with in the organisation and include medical facilities, compensation for accidents, provision of canteens, supply of drinking water, provision of safety measures, activities relating to improving conditions of employment, and so on. Whereas the Extra-mural activities cover the services and facilities provided outside the organisations such as housing facilities, recreational facilities, educational benefits for employees and children, and so on. By practicing these welfare activities in the organisations the quality of work life of the employees can be increased and at the same time the satisfaction level towards the management also increased.

Welfare Provisions Under the Factories Act, 1948

This Act, as amended by the latest amendment in the year, 1987 makes elaborate provisions in relation to health, safety, and welfare of employees, provisions regarding working hours including weekly hours, daily hours, weekly holidays, regarding employment of young persons, annual leaves with wages and provision regarding employment of women and young persons. In this act the provisions are also made in connection with first aid appliances along with a room are to be maintained in every organization. The Governments have been empowered to make rules requiring that in any organisation wherein more than two hundred fifty workers are ordinarily employed, a canteen or canteens shall be provided and maintained for the use of employees. The Act further provides for shelters, rest rooms and lunchrooms in every organization.

Finally the Act makes provision for the employment of Welfare Officer in manufacturing organisations and service sector also. Thus, it is clear that the Act makes very elaborate and unambiguous provisions regarding the minimum welfare standards to be followed by the management. But laying down the standards alone is not enough. It must also to be ensured that these provisions are implemented successfully. The non-implementation leads to dis-satisfaction of the employees working in the organizations.

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