Aiming to cut red-tapism: Industrial Relations Code: Govt notifies draft rules

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November 2, 2020 7:57 AM

The notice of strike has to be given to the employer of an industrial establishment which should be duly signed by the secretary and five elected representatives of the registered trade union.

The labour ministry has notified the draft rules under the IR Code and sought public comments within a month before finalising the rules.

An establishment with 300 or more workers will have to seek government’s approval 15 days ahead of resorting to lay-off and 90 days in advance for closure as per the draft rules under the Industrial Relations Code. For retrenchment, the establishment will have to seek government’s permission 60 days prior to the intended action.

The IR Code, passed in Parliament along with social security code and operational safety and health (OSH) code in September, has empowered the states to allow industries employing up to 300 workers to resort to lay-off, retrenchment and closure without prior permission. Labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar had earlier told FE that the basic objective behind the increasing of the threshold was to reduce the red tapism in the labour law governance.

The labour ministry has notified the draft rules under the IR Code and sought public comments within a month before finalising the rules. The labour ministry proposes to implement the rules under the IR Code from April 1. Draft rules under OSH Code and social security code are yet to be notified.

“The rules rely substantially on electronic mode of communications by and from workers, trade unions, employers, conciliation officer, tribunals, etc., for all save matters relating to lay-off, retrenchment and closure. It provides for speed post/registered post for above matters,” said XLRI professor KR Shyam Sundar.

The rules also said that every employer who has retrenched a worker or workers under this Code, shall, within 10 days, at the time of retrenching a worker or workers shall electronically transfer an amount equivalent to 15 days of last drawn wages of such retrenched worker or workers in the account to be maintained by the central government.

The fund so received shall be transferred by the Central government to each worker or workers’ account electronically within 45 days of receipt of funds from the employer and the worker shall utilise such amount for his reskilling, the draft rule said.

“The Code rules omitting rules pertaining to trade unions and leaving them to the state governments will promote inconsistent and diverging rules across the regions especially with regard to the method of determining the negotiating agent and negotiating council,” Sundar said.

The notice of strike has to be given to the employer of an industrial establishment which should be duly signed by the secretary and five elected representatives of the registered trade union.

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