The National Labour Institute, as the V. V. Giri National Labour Institute was known until 1995, was first conceived in 1962. The need for an autonomous institute to undertake and coordinate research in the field of labour, especially on unorganized labour, was a prominent part of the agenda when, during the Gandhi centenary year, the Ministry of Labour organized a workshop on ‘Gandhi and Labour’.
Further highlighted in Justice P. B. Gajendragadkar’s First National Commission on Labour Report, the National Labour Institute was registered as an autonomous society in 1972. The Institute was renamed in 1995 in honour of Shri V.V. Giri, a former President of India, renowned trade union leader and doyen of labour studies in the country.