The Industrial Relations Code, 2020 passed by the Parliament

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Three Codes to Reform Indian Labour Laws is passed by the Parliament

  1. The Industrial Relations Code, 2020
  2. The Code on Social Security, 2020
  3. The Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020

The three codes are part of the four codes that consolidate 29 central labour laws. In 2019, the Code on Wages was passed. These Bills aims to lighten up labour laws to alleviate operational needs for the Industries at the same time bring in social security for all workers, including inter-state migrants plus unorganized workers.

Significant features of the Industrial Relations Code, 2020

  • Applicability of standing orders

The Bill to provide for the applicability of threshold of three hundred or more workers (prior this threshold was 100 workers) for an industrial establishment to obtain certification of standing orders on the matters scheduled in a Schedule of the Code, if the standing order differ from the model standing order made by the Central Government

Matters to be provided in standing orders under this code  are following

1. Classification of workers, whether permanent, temporary, apprentices, probationers,

badlis or fixed term employment.

2. Manner of intimating to workers periods and hours of work, holidays, pay-days

and wage rates.

3. Shift working.

4. Attendance and late coming.

5. Conditions of, procedure in applying for, and the authority which may grant leave

and holidays.

6. Requirement to enter premises by certain gates, and liability to search.

7. Closing and reporting of sections of the industrial establishment, temporary

stoppages of work and the rights and liabilities of the employer and workers arising

therefrom.

8. Termination of employment, and the notice thereof to be given by employer and

workers.

9. Suspension or dismissal for misconduct, and acts or omissions which constitute

misconduct.

10. Means of redress for workers against unfair treatment or wrongful exactions by

the employer or his agents or servants.

11. Any other matter which may be specified by the appropriate Government by

notification.

  • Prior permission of government in matters of Closure, retrenchment and lay-off

  Prior consent of the government is obligatory ahead of closure, retrenchment, or lay-off if an establishment having as a minimum of 300 workers.

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  • Modification in employee strength

The Bill amends the previous provision where once an establishment is sheltered under the provisions allied to standing orders, these provisions persistent to apply in a condition where the establishment’s employee strength is reduced below the threshold i.e. 100 workers at any time subsequently.

  • Disputes regarding termination of individual worker

The Bill specifies that any dispute relating to discharge, dismissal, retrenchment, or else termination of the services of an individual worker will be an industrial dispute and the aggrieved workers may approach to the Industrial Tribunal for settlement of the dispute within 45 days subsequent to the application for the conciliation of the dispute was made.

  • Sole Negotiating Union of the workers

The Bill provides that If more than one Trade Union of workers registered under this Code is functioning in an industrial establishment, then, the Trade Union having fifty-one per cent or more workers on the muster roll of that industrial establishment, verified in such manner as may be prescribed, supporting that Trade Union shall be recognised by the employer of the industrial establishment, as the sole negotiating union of the workers.

  • Negotiation Council

The Bill states that if in case no trade union is qualified as sole negotiating union, a negotiating council will be formed consisting of the representatives of such registered Trade Unions which have the support of not less than twenty per cent of the total workers on the muster roll of that industrial establishment so verified and such representation shall be of one representative for each twenty per cent and for the remainder after calculating the membership on each twenty per cent.

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