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What is ‘building or other construction work’?

‘Building or other Construction work’ is defined in Section 2 (h) of The Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020 and Section 2(6) of Code on Social Security 2020]. It provides those activities which would be considered as building and other construction work (“inclusions”) and also prescribes activities which would not be considered as building and other construction work (“exclusions”) in India. The inclusions and exclusions are set out as below: 



i. Construction 

ii. Alterations 

iii. Repairs 

iv. Maintenance 

v. Demolition 



Building or other construction work: 

i. Related to any factory or mine; or 

ii. employing less than ten workers in the preceding twelve months; iii. for own residential purposes, the cost of work in which does not exceed fifty lakhs rupees or such higher amount, employing more than such number of workers as may be notified by the Government. 

‘Building worker’ is defined under Section 2(7) of Code on Social Security, is in line with the definition of ‘worker’ under Section 2(1) (zzl) of The Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020, but covers only workers engaged in ‘building and other construction work’, specifically excluding persons engaged in management roles. This definition primarily covers blue collar workers who perform manual labour at construction sites. 

BOCW Cess is a levy collected by the relevant state governments on all “building and construction work” (see FAQ  1) at the rate between 1 to 2 per cent of the cost of construction. The cess amount is used to fund welfare measures for construction workers (such as pension, group health insurance, payments towards maternity benefit, meeting medical expenses for major ailment, hostel facility, etc,).  

‘Cost of construction’ means the amount incurred by the employer towards ‘Building or other Construction works’ (See FAQ 1), excluding the cost of land and any compensation paid or payable to an employee or his kin due to any fatal accidents or serious bodily injuries and other compensation paid to an employee.  

The definition only provides for the components that are excluded while arriving at the ‘cost of construction’ it would generally include the expenditure incurred by an employer in connection with building or other construction work.      

The BOCW Cess is collected in advance, at the time of approval or  before commencement of work, from the employer undertaking the ‘Building and other Construction work’, on basis of self-assessed cost of construction certified by chartered engineer. After the collection of the BOCW Cess, it is transferred to the bank account of State Building Workers’ Welfare Board, through online payment system by the government or local authority collecting the BOCW Cess. 

The BOCW Cess deposited, in advance, by the employer undertaking ‘Building and other Construction work’ could be refunded back to the employer in the event of withdrawal, foreclosure or closure of the work or modification of construction plan. For seeking refund  of the excess BOCW Cess paid, the employer Draft Rules, shall submit information in format prescribed under Draft Rules to the assessing officer.  

In cases where the levy of BOCW Cess pertains to building and other construction work of a Government or of a Public Sector Undertaking, such Government or the Public Sector Undertaking shall deduct or cause to be deducted the cess payable at the notified rates from the bills paid for such works.  BOCW Cess deducted shall be deposited with the Welfare Board within a period of 30 days from the date of such deduction, along with the details of the construction work to the assessing officer of the area concerned. 

Any delay in payment of the BOCW Cess, within the prescribed time period, shall make the employer liable to pay interest at a rate of 1% for every one month or part of a month, from the date on which payment of Cess is due till such payment is actually paid.  

For availing benefits provided to BOCW by Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board (“Board”),the Building Workers are required to register themselves on the portal specified by the Central Government, as beneficiaries. . For registration, the Building Worker, should be: 


a.  between 18 years to 60 of age; 

b.  engaged in any ‘Building or other Construction work’ for not less than 90 days during the preceding 12 months from the date of registration. 


Registration shall be done through Aadhar on self-declaration basis in the prescribed form on the web portal as specified by the Central Government. 

State Government and the State Building Workers’ Welfare Board shall be responsible for registration of all building workers within the geographical area of the State, electronically on the web portal specified by Central Government and the State Government or the Welfare Board. 

Any building worker who has been a beneficiary for at least 3 years continuously immediately before attaining the age of 60 years, shall be entitled to receive benefits as per such scheme (s) formulated and notified by the Central Government. 

Welfare Board will constitute a Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Fund (“Fund”), to which BOCW Cess levied and collected under SS Code shall be deposited. 


Welfare Boards shall provide to beneficiaries, benefits which inter alia includes: 


i. death and disability benefits; 

ii. payment of pension upon attaining the age of 60 years; 

iii. medical expenses for treatment of major ailments of beneficiary or such dependent, as prescribed by Central Government; 

iv. transit accommodation or hostel facility; 

v. frame education, and other welfare schemes as may be prescribed by Central Government, for providing necessary benefits.