Labor Regulations, Welfare & Social Security

Industrial Relations5

The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, stipulates provisions for the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes and for providing certain safeguards to workers. It contains the following:

  • The procedure, power, and duties of authorities constituted under the Act (e.g. labor courts, conciliation officers, tribunals, etc.)
  • Provisions to prohibit strikes and lockouts without appropriate notice, declaration of strikes and lockouts as illegal in certain cases, etc.
  • Provisions relating to lay-off, retrenchment, and closure
  • Provisions covering unfair labor practices
  • Penalties for various defaults under the Act

As per the Act, an ‘industrial dispute’ means any dispute or difference between employers and employers, or between employers and workmen, or between workmen and workmen, which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or with the conditions of labor of any person.

This Act applies to every industrial establishment carrying on any business, trade, manufacture, or distribution of goods and services, irrespective of the number of workmen employed. It covers every person employed in an establishment (including contract labor, apprentices, and part-time employees) to do any manual, clerical, skilled, unskilled, technical, operational, or supervisory work for hire or reward. It does not apply to persons employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity, or in a supervisory capacity drawing a salary exceeding what is prescribed under this Act, etc.

The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, requires employers to clearly define and publish standing orders (service rules) and to make them known to the workmen employed by them. It applies to every industrial establishment where 100 or more workmen (50 or more in many states) are/were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months. The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules, 1946, cover the classification of workmen, working hours, holidays, paydays, wage rates, payments, shifts, attendance, leave, termination of employment, disciplinary action for misconduct, complaints, etc.

The Plantations Labor Act, 1951, provides for the welfare of plantation labor and regulates the conditions of work in plantations. It applies to all tea, coffee, rubber, and cinchona plantations, but State Governments may extend it to other plantations as well. The Act is administered by the State Governments and is applied to any land used as a plantation, which measures five hectares or more where 15 or more persons are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months.

The Trade Unions Act, 1926, deals with the registration of trade unions (including associations of employers), their rights, liabilities, and responsibilities, as well as ensures that their funds are utilized properly. It gives legal and corporate status to registered trade unions. An employer cannot prevent workers from forming a union. Trade unions are formed to promote and protect the interest and welfare of workers by enabling collective bargaining.6

  • 5.Acts and Rules, Industrial Relations, Ministry of Labor & Employment, http://labour.gov/"& Employment, http://labour.gov.in/industrial-relations, accessed 18 September 2020
  • 6.The Trade Unions Act, 1926, Ministry of Labor & Employment, https://labour.gov.in/sites/ default/files/TheTradeUnionsAct1926.pdf, , accessed 18 September 2020
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(Greenfield, Market Research and Special Projects)

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