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What is Industrial Employment Act, 1946

What is Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946

The concept of ‘Standing Orders’ is the recent growth in relation to Indian labor- management. Previously, The chaotic conditions of employment, wherein the workmen were engaged on an individual basis with uncertain and vague terms of employment.

The Preamble of the Act imposes a compulsion upon the employers, “to define with sufficient precision the conditions of employment” and make the same known to the workmen.

Act and its Application

The Act shall apply to the industrial establishments within India with an engagement of more than a hundred workmen at present or as noted on any day in the preceding year unless provided by the appropriate Government for application to any such industrial establishment – with less than a hundred employees.

Exclusion on industrial establishments

Certain industrial establishments have been excluded from its application via various statutory provisions enlisted in this Act:

  • Section 1(4) excludes those establishments to which Chapter VII of the BIRA or MPIESOA applies unless controlled by the Central Government.
  • Section 13-B excludes those establishments whose workmen are subject to the Fundamental & Supplementary Rules; various Civil Services Rules; or any other rules provided by the ‘appropriate Government’.
  • The provisions of Sections 10 and 12-A(1) do not apply to the establishments under the control of the States of Gujarat/Maharashtra.

Exemption: Section 14

Section 14 empowers the appropriate Government to exempt any industrial establishment from being subject to all or any of the provisions of this Act, either conditionally/unconditionally.

Special features of the Act

The Special Features of the Act are:

  • Concept of Standing Orders;
  • Adjudicatory powers of the Certifying Officer; and
  • CSOs (short for – Certified Standing Orders) to have the force of law.

Certified Standing Orders-CSO 

Standing orders effectuated in compliance with the statutory provisions may be considered as a special kind of contract or a ‘statutory contract’.

The employer & workmen cannot enter into a contract overriding the statutory contract as embodied in the CSO, except when such a contract is entered into in compliance with Section 10(1), so as to modify such CSO, but not otherwise.

Standing orders 

Section 2(g) of the Act states that “Standing orders” are the rules relating to matters set out in the Schedule, i.e. with reference to:

  • The classification of workmen;
  • Manner of intimation to workers about work and wage-related details;
  • Attendance, and conditions of granting leaves, etc.;
  • Rights & liabilities of the employer/ workmen in certain circumstances;
  • Conditions of ‘termination of’/‘suspension from’ employment; and
  • Means of redressal for workmen, or any other matter.