Global Economy

Labour Ministry notifies draft rules for recognition of negotiating council under Industrial Relations Code

The labour ministry has notified draft rules for recognition of the negotiating council under the Industrial Relations Code, thus paving way for faster resolution of disputes between employees and employers though a council comprising one major trade union instead of multiple trade unions.

The move, which is a major shift from the existing provision wherein multiple trade unions were allowed to negotiate with some often having vested interests, is aimed at significantly reducing industrial disputes going forward.

The ministry has sought comments on the draft rules within a month following which these rules will come into force.

Section 14 of the IR Code, 2020 provided that any establishment with multiple trade unions will recognise the single union which has 51% of its workers as employees of the company as negotiating council.

In case, no single union has the majority, the employer will be empowered to create a negotiating council comprising of representatives of such registered trade unions which have the support of not less than 20% of the total workers on the muster roll of that industrial establishment and such representation shall be of one representative for each 20%

In case of establishments with only one registered trade union, the employer may recognise such union as negotiation unions provided at least 30% of the total workers employed in the industrial

Establishment belong to the Union.

Once notified, the negotiating council will be responsible to negotiate with the employer on issues pertaining to wages, hours of work, leave entitlement, classification of grades and categories of workers and other safety and health related matters.

Further, the draft Rules empower the employers to set up a verification officer for verification of membership of the trade unions in the industrial establishment. “The verification officer shall be an independent officer and shall not have any interest with any of the Trade Union, whose membership verification is to be carried out,” it said in the draft rules notified on Tuesday.

Further, it has clarified that the process for constitution of the negotiating union or the negotiating council shall commence three months before the expiry of the tenure of the existing recognition period of the trade unions recognised by the employer under the Code of Discipline.

The ministry has also notified draft rules under section 22 of the Code outlising the provisions of adjudication of disputes between one or more trade unions. Under this, the aggrieved person may make application to the Tribunal having jurisdiction, in Form A within a period of one year from the date on which the dispute arises, electronically or by registered post or by speed post or in person.


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