The Ministry of Labour and Employment (“MoLE”) has formulated the draft Industrial Relations (Central) Rules, 2020 (“IR Rules”) under the Industrial Relations Code, 2020 (“IR Code”) for seeking public comments. The IR Rules will be applicable to such matters for which the Central Government is the appropriate Government under the IR Code. State Governments which are ‘appropriate Government’ for, amongst others, State PSUs, State owned/ controlled autonomous bodies and private establishments, may draft State-specific rules or adopt the IR Rules to give implement the provisions of the IR Code.
The IR Rules will repeal the Industrial Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1949, the Industrial Tribunal (Central Procedure) Rules, 1954, the Industrial Disputes (Central) Rules, 1957 and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules,1946.
The key provisions introduced under the IR Rules include:
- The manner of choosing members from the employers and the workers for constitution of the Grievance Redressal Committee (“GRC”).
- The particulars required to be included in an application filed (electronically or otherwise) by an aggrieved worker before the GRC in respect of any dispute/ grievance.
- Filing of application for conciliation by aggrieved worker against GRC’s decision or for non-resolution of grievance by GRC on the MoLE’s Samadhan Portal, either through the trade union of which he is a member or otherwise.
- Duty to intimate the concerned Certifying Officer electronically if an employer adopts the model standing order with respect to matters relevant to his industrial establishment or undertaking.
- Electronic submission of compliance report by employers directed by the Certifying Officer to amend the model standing order adopted by way of addition, deletion or modification.
- Deemed adoption of the model standing order by an employer if no observation is made by the concerned Certifying Officer within 30 days of intimation by the employer.
- Requirement to provide additional details such as the name of the industrial establishment, address, e-mail address, contact number and strength of workers employed therein in the statement accompanying the draft standing order submitted for certification.
- Consultation with the concerned Trade Union, Negotiating Union or Negotiating Council, if any, by group of employers engaged in similar industrial establishment and desirous of submitting a joint draft of standing order.
- Additional requirement on employer to maintain Certified or Deemed to be Certified or Adopted Model Standing Order in Hindi and in the official language of the State where the industrial establishment is situated.
- MoLE specifying the procedure for holding of conciliation proceedings on its Samadhan Portal.
- The Conciliation Officer being required to upload his report on the Samadhan Portal if no settlement is arrived at in the conciliation proceeding within 7 days from conclusion of such proceedings and such report to be accessible to all the parties concerned.
- Application for adjudication of disputes not settled through conciliation being made to the Industrial Tribunal on the Samadhan Portal.
- Awards passed by the Industrial/ National Tribunals being electronically notified to the concerned parties and the Central Government apart from being uploaded on the Samadhan Portal.
- Provision for endorsed copy of notice of strike and lock-out and intimation in respect of such notice, being electronically sent to the concerned labour authorities.
- Electronic intimation of prescribed notices for retrenchment of workers, re-employment of retrenched workers and closure of industrial establishments.
- Electronic applications for grant of permission to lay-off/ retrench workers or close down industrial establishment.
- Prescription of time-limit for electronic transfer of contributions by employers to the Worker Reskilling Fund together with electronic submission of the name of each worker retrenched, 15 days’ last drawn wages of each such worker along with their bank account details to the Central Government.
- Compounding Officers authorized to send compounding notice through Samadhan Portal to the accused for compoundable offences where no prosecution is instituted and accused required to furnish reply and deposit compounding amount electronically.
- Requiring accused to apply for Court permission for compounding of offences where prosecution has already been instituted against him.
Authored by Minu Dwivedi
Co-authored by Shreya Chowdhury