The Industrial Dispute Act was introduced in the year 1947 by the Government of India, to make provisions for investigating and settling industrial disputes. The Industrial Dispute Act aims to govern service conditions and promote measures for securing harmony, goodwill and better relations between employers and the employees. The main objectives of the Industrial Dispute Act are listed below:
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Any person who is an employee in an industry can raise an industrial dispute. The Industrial Dispute Act is implemented to protect the interest of employees and the employer in an organisation and promote harmony and amiable relations between the parties.
The industrial dispute is initially raised by the employee, before his/ her employer. In case the employer or the organisation is not willing to settle the issue or provides an unsatisfactory reply, the employee can then move to the Labour Commission and file his complaint. If the Labour Commission fails to solve the issue, then the employee can file a complaint before the Labour Court.
SEE ALSO: The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
The dispute can be raised before the Labour Commission or the Labour Court within a stipulated time as prescribed by the Industrial Dispute Act. The employee can raise a complaint in the Labour Court within three years from the date of his alleged termination or dispute. The Industrial Dispute Act mandates that a workman can make an application before three years from the date of discharge, dismissal, retrenchment or otherwise.
The Labour Court investigates the industrial disputes through proper procedures and resolves the dispute and provides its verdict on the dispute. The Industrial Tribunal/ Labour Court acts as an authoritative body that has the power to punish or impose penalty on the party that is guilty. The tribunal can provide relief to the employee through reinstatement.
Interim relief refers to a grant that provides short term monetary help to the employee (petitioner), until the dispute is resolved. The interim relief is provided as there is a time gap between the filing of the law suit and the resolving of the issue. So, an employee may ask for interim relief, when the award of reinstatement has been challenged by the employer in High Court.
Section 25T of the Industrial Dispute Act contains prohibition of unfair labour practices. Section 25T states that no employer or workman or a trade union, whether registered under the Trade Unions Act, 1926 (16 of 1926), or not, shall commit any unfair labour practice. Anyone promoting or practicing unfair labour practices are liable to be punished under the Industrial Dispute Act.
SEE ALSO: Power of Labour Court
The term layoff is defined under section 2 (kkk) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which means the failure, refusal or inability of an employer on account of the shortage of coal, power or raw materials or the accumulation of stocks or the breakdown of machinery or natural calamity or for any other unconnected reason to provide employment opportunity to an employee.
A layoff is a measure taken by the employer to cope with temporary inability to provide employment. In such a case the employer must provide lay off compensation to the employee at 50% of basic pay along with dearness allowance for a maximum duration of 45 days.
Retrenchment is a situation where the employer needs to layoff employees due to economic difficulty or cost cutting. An employer can retrench his employees on ‘last come first go’ basis. However the employer needs to seek permission from the government if the total employees in the organization are more than 100. The employer also needs to provide compensation in case of retrenchment which is 15 days of last drawn salary per year for every completed year along with one month’s salary for the retrenched employee.
Generally, the Closure notice has to be given 60 days in advance. In case the employer has more than 100 employees, then a notice must be submitted 90 days in advance to the office of the Labour Commissioner.
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