The Industrial Relations Code, 2020

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The Industrial Relations Code, 2020 was presented in Lok Sabha on September 19, 2020 and was adopted on September 22, 2020. The bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on September 23, 2020. It acquired Presidential approval on September 28, 2020.

The Industrial Relations Code, 2020 has an objective of consolidating and amending the laws concerning the Trade Unions, conditions of employment in industrial undertaking, or an establishment, settling the industrial disputes. It has replaced the following existing laws:

  • Trade Unions Act, 1926
  • Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946
  • Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

The government may exempt any new industrial establishment or category of establishment from the provisions of the Code in the interest of public. All industrial establishments with at least three hundred workers must prepare standing orders on matters concerning the: –

  • Classification of workers,
  • Way of informing workers about work hours, holidays, paydays, and wage rates,
  • Termination of employment, and
  • Worker grievance mechanism

All industrial establishments with three hundred or more workers are needed to seek prior permission of the government before closure, lay-off, or retrenchment. The trade union having more than fifty one percent of the workers as members would be recognized as the sole negotiating union in cases where more than one registered trade union of workers is operating in an establishment.

If there is no eligible single negotiating union, a negotiating council will be formed having at least twenty percent of the workers as members.

An industrial dispute shall be the disputes concerning the discharge, dismissal, retrenchment, or termination of the services of an individual worker. The worker may apply to the Industrial Tribunal for settlement of the dispute. Factory workers will have to give employers at least fourteen days notice if they want to go on strike.