Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 mainly deals with the provisions for the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes.
- It extends to the whole of India.
- It came into force on 1st April 1947.
1) According to Section 2(aaa) of this act, average pay means the average of the wages of:
- Three complete calendar months in case of monthly paid
- Four complete weeks, in case of weekly paid workman.
- Twelve full working days, in case of daily paid workman.
2) Industrial dispute (Section 2(k)) means any dispute which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the conditions of labour between:
- Employers and employers.
- Employers and workmen.
- Workmen and workmen.
3) If an employer fails to give employment to a workman on the following grounds, then it is referred to as Lay-off (Section 2(kkk)):
- Shortage of coal or power or raw materials
- Accumulation of stocks or
- Break-down of machinery
- Natural calamity or for any other connected reason
4) Lock-out (Section 2(l)) refers to the
- Temporary closing of working place.
- Suspension of work.
- Condition in which the employer refuses to continue the employment of persons.
5) Retrenchment (Section 2(oo)) means the termination of a workman of the service by the employer for any reason. It does not include the following:
- Voluntary retirement.
- Retirement on the age of superannuation.
- Non-renewal of employment contract.
- Continued illness.
6) A works committee (Section 3) consisting of an equal number of representatives of employers and workmen shall be constituted by the employers in an industrial establishment in which one hundred or more workmen are employed.
7) Labour courts (Section 7) and Tribunals (Section 7A) shall consist of only one person appointed by the appropriate government. Following are the common qualifications for presiding officer of a labour court or a tribunal:
- Judge of a High Court or
- District judge or an additional district judge for a period of not less than three years or
- Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) or Joint Commissioner of the State Labour Department, having a law degree and at least seven years' experience in the labour department including three years of experience as Conciliation Officer or
- Grade III officer of Indian Legal Service with three years' experience.
- Apart from the above, any person with the following qualifications can also be appointed as the presiding officer:
- Held any judicial office in India for not less than seven years or
- Presiding officer of a Labour Court constituted under state or provincial act for not less than five years
8) A National Tribunal (Section 7B) constituted by the central government shall consist of only one person. The presiding officer of the tribunal must be a person who worked or has been a judge of a high court.
9) A grievance redressal committee consisting of an equal number of persons representing employers and employees must be set up in every establishment employing twenty or more workmen.
- The total membership shall not exceed six.
- There shall be one women member if there are two members in the committee in total. The proportionality should be maintained.
10) The appropriate government may refer the dispute to:
- Labour court if the dispute is related to the Second Schedule.
- Tribunal if the dispute is related to the second schedule or the third schedule.
- Labour court, if the dispute is related to the third schedule and is not likely to affect more than one hundred workmen.
11) A court shall report ordinarily within six months from the commencement of the inquiry to the appropriate Government.
12) Strikes and lockouts are prohibited in the following cases:
- Without giving notice within six weeks before striking or locking out; or
- Within fourteen days of giving such notice; or
- Before the expiry of the date of strike or lockout in the notice; or
- During conciliation proceedings before a conciliation officer and seven days after the conclusion of the proceedings.
- During the proceedings before the arbitrator, Labour court, Tribunal or National Tribunal and two months after the conclusion of the proceedings.
- During the operation period of a settlement or an award.
13) A workman is said to be in continuous service for a period of one year or six months, if the workman has worked for the following days during twelve or six calendar months respectively:
- one hundred and ninety days or ninety-five days respectively, if employed below ground in a mine.
- two hundred and forty days or one hundred and twenty days respectively, in any other case.
14) A workman in continuous service for not less than one year shall be retrenched only after:
- Giving one month notice indicating the reasons for retrenchment and wages for the notice period.
- Paying compensation equivalent to fifteen days average pay for every completed year of continuous service.
- Notice is served on the appropriate government.
15) A notice in the prescribed manner on the appropriate government shall be served by an employer who intends to close down an undertaking, at least sixty days before the date of closure. This is not applicable:
- To the undertakings in which less than fifty workmen are employed or were employed in the preceding twelve months.
- To the undertakings set up for the construction of buildings, bridges, roads, canals, dams or for other work or projects.
- The appropriate government shall give an exception in case of an accident in the undertaking or the death of the employer or any other reason.
16) Any person committing any unfair labour practice shall be punishable with a maximum imprisonment of six months or a maximum fine of one thousand rupees or both.
17) Any workman who commences or continues an illegal strike shall be punishable with a maximum imprisonment of one month, or with a maximum fine of fifty rupees, or both.
18) Any employer who commences or continues an illegal lock-out shall be punishable with a maximum imprisonment of one month, or with a maximum fine of one thousand rupees, or both.
19) Any person who gives financial aid or instigates or incites others or to take part in illegal strike or lock-out shall be punishable with a maximum imprisonment of six months or with a maximum fine of one thousand rupees or both.
20) Any person who commits a breach of any term of any settlement or award shall be punishable with a maximum imprisonment of six months, or fine, or both.
- If the breach is a continuing one, the fine may extend to two hundred rupees for every day during which the breach continues after the first conviction.
21) In relation to an establishment, a protected workman refers to a workman who is a member of the executive or office bearer of a registered trade union and the number of protected workmen shall be one percent of the total number of workmen employed.
- There shall be a minimum of five protected workmen and a maximum of one hundred protected workmen.
22) A workman who is a party to a dispute shall be represented in any proceeding by the following:
- Any executive member or office bearer of a registered trade union of which he is a member.
- Any executive member or other office-bearer of a federation of trade unions to which the trade union is affiliated.
- If the worker is not a member of any trade union, then any executive member or office bearer of any trade union connected with the industry in which the worker is employed may represent.
23) An employer who is a party to a dispute shall be represented in any proceeding by the following:
- An officer of an association of employers of which he is a member;
- An officer of a federation of association of employers to which the association referred is affiliated.
- If the employer is not a member of any association, then an officer of any association of employers connected with the industry in which the employer is engaged may represent.
24) The first schedule of the act states the list of industries that may be declared to be public utility services.
25) The second and third schedules state the matters that are within the jurisdiction of labour court and industrial tribunal respectively.
26) The fourth schedule states the conditions of service for change of which notice is to be given.
27) The fifth schedule is regarding unfair labour practices.
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