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THE INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYMENT (STANDING ORDERS) ACT, 1946

Author: Gokulakrishnan M, V year of B.A.,LL.B from The Central Law College, Salem.


Introduction

Standing orders are an essential aspect of industrial employment and provide a framework of rules and regulations that govern the terms and conditions of employment in an industrial establishment. The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, mandates that all industrial establishments employing 100 or more workers (or 50 or more workers, if notified by the appropriate government) should have certified standing orders that are applicable to all workers.


The standing orders typically cover various aspects of employment, such as working hours, leave entitlements, disciplinary procedures, termination of employment, and other relevant matters. The objective of the standing orders is to provide clarity and certainty to the workers regarding their rights and obligations, and to ensure that the industrial establishment operates in a fair and transparent manner.


The process of certification of standing orders involves a consultation process between the employer and the workers, with the assistance of a certifying officer appointed by the appropriate government. The certifying officer ensures that the standing orders are in compliance with the provisions of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and that they are fair and reasonable.


Certified standing orders can be modified by the employer or the workers through a prescribed procedure, and any modification should also be certified by the certifying officer.


In summary, standing orders are an essential tool for regulating employment relations in industrial establishments, and they provide a mechanism for ensuring that the workers' rights are protected, and that the industrial establishment operates in a fair and transparent manner.



Industrial Employment (standing orders)Act, 1946


The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 is a law that regulates the employment conditions in industrial establishments in India. The law requires every employer in an industrial establishment to define and publish the standing orders, which are rules and regulations that govern the terms and conditions of employment.


The purpose of the act is to bring about uniformity and certainty in the conditions of employment in industrial establishments. The act applies to all industrial establishments, including factories, mines, and plantations, employing 100 or more workers. The employer is required to draft standing orders for the establishment, which should be in accordance with the model standing orders provided by the government.


The act also provides for the constitution of a standing orders committee, which comprises representatives of the employer and the workers. The committee is responsible for assisting the employer in drafting the standing orders, and it also handles any disputes arising from the interpretation or application of the standing orders.


The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 is an important legislation that protects the rights of workers and provides a framework for the orderly conduct of industrial establishments. It ensures that workers are aware of their rights and duties, and it also helps employers to maintain discipline and productivity in the workplace.




Procedure for certification of standing orders


The procedure for certification of standing orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 is as follows:


1. Drafting of Standing Orders

The employer is required to draft the standing orders for the industrial establishment in accordance with the model standing orders provided by the government.


2. Display of Draft Standing Orders

The draft standing orders should be prominently displayed at the workplace for at least 30 days to allow for objections and suggestions from the workers.


3. Consideration of Objections and Suggestions

The employer should consider the objections and suggestions received from the workers and make necessary modifications to the draft standing orders.


4. Submission of Standing Orders

The employer should submit five copies of the draft standing orders, along with a notice of the date on which they were displayed, the objections and suggestions received, and the modifications made, to the certifying officer.


5. Appointment of Certifying Officer

The appropriate government appoints a certifying officer who is responsible for certifying the standing orders.


6. Enquiry by Certifying Officer

The certifying officer conducts an inquiry to ensure that the standing orders comply with the provisions of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and that they are fair and reasonable.


7. Issuance of Certificate

If the certifying officer is satisfied that the standing orders comply with the provisions of the Act, he issues a certificate of certification of the standing orders.


8. Publication of Standing Orders

The employer is required to prominently display the certified standing orders at the workplace in a language understood by the majority of the workers.


The certification of standing orders is a crucial step to ensure that the workers are aware of their rights and duties, and to provide a framework for the orderly conduct of industrial establishments.



Duration of certification

The duration for certification of standing orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 may vary depending on the complexity of the case and the workload of the certifying officer. However, the act specifies that the certifying officer should complete the inquiry and issue the certificate of certification or make an order within 45 days of the receipt of the draft standing orders.


If the certifying officer is unable to issue the certificate of certification or make an order within the specified period of 45 days, he may extend the period for a further period not exceeding 45 days, with the prior approval of the appropriate government.


It is important to note that the 45-day period or the extended period of 45 days is the maximum time limit specified by the act for certification of standing orders. The certifying officer should strive to complete the inquiry and issue the certificate of certification or make an order as soon as possible to ensure that the workers are aware of their rights and duties and that the industrial establishment is governed by a framework of fair and reasonable rules and regulations.



Modification of certified standing orders

Under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, certified standing orders can be modified by the employer or the workers through a process known as "modification of standing orders."


The procedure for modification of certified standing orders is as follows:


1. Giving Notice of Proposed Modification

The employer or the workers should give notice of the proposed modification to the other party at least 21 days before the date of the proposed modification.


2. Holding of Negotiations

The employer and the workers should negotiate the proposed modification in good faith, and they may refer the matter to a conciliation officer if they are unable to reach an agreement.


3. Certification of Modified Standing Orders

If the employer and the workers reach an agreement on the proposed modification, they should submit the modified standing orders to the certifying officer for certification. The certifying officer will conduct an inquiry to ensure that the modification complies with the provisions of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and that it is fair and reasonable. If the certifying officer is satisfied, he will issue a certificate of certification of the modified standing orders.


4. Publication of Modified Standing Orders

The employer should prominently display the modified standing orders, along with the certificate of certification, at the workplace in a language understood by the majority of the workers.


It is important to note that any modification of certified standing orders made without following the prescribed procedure is void and has no legal effect. Therefore, it is essential for both the employer and the workers to adhere to the procedure for modification of certified standing orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.



Domestic enquiry and disciplinary action

A domestic enquiry is an internal enquiry conducted by an employer or management to investigate allegations of misconduct or other disciplinary issues involving an employee. The objective of a domestic enquiry is to determine whether the employee has committed an act of misconduct, and if so, to impose appropriate disciplinary action.


The procedure for conducting a domestic enquiry may vary depending on the organization and the nature of the allegations, but generally, it involves the following steps:


1. Issuance of Charge Sheet

The employer or management issues a charge sheet to the employee detailing the allegations of misconduct or disciplinary issue.


2. Response by Employee

The employee is given an opportunity to respond to the allegations in writing or in person within a reasonable period.


3. Appointment of Inquiry Officer

The employer or management appoints an inquiry officer who is responsible for conducting the domestic enquiry.


4. Conducting of Enquiry

The inquiry officer conducts the enquiry by examining the evidence and witnesses presented by both the employer and the employee.


5. Recording of Proceedings

The inquiry officer records the proceedings of the enquiry and maintains a written record of the evidence presented and the statements made by the witnesses.


6. Preparation of Enquiry Report

After the conclusion of the enquiry, the inquiry officer prepares a report of the findings of the enquiry and submits it to the employer or management.


7. Imposition of Disciplinary Action

Based on the findings of the enquiry report, the employer or management may impose appropriate disciplinary action, which may include a warning, suspension, termination, or any other action deemed fit.


It is important to note that the domestic enquiry should be conducted in a fair and impartial manner, and the employee should be given a reasonable opportunity to defend himself/herself. The principles of natural justice, including the right to be heard and the right to a fair trial, should be observed during the conduct of the domestic enquiry.



Conclusion

In conclusion, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, is a significant legislation that mandates all industrial establishments employing a certain number of workers to have certified standing orders that govern the terms and conditions of employment. Standing orders provide a framework of rules and regulations that ensure that the rights and obligations of workers are clearly defined, and that the industrial establishment operates in a fair and transparent manner.


The process of certification of standing orders involves a consultation process between the employer and the workers, with the assistance of a certifying officer appointed by the appropriate government. The certifying officer ensures that the standing orders are in compliance with the provisions of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and that they are fair and reasonable.


Certified standing orders can be modified by the employer or the workers through a prescribed procedure, and any modification should also be certified by the certifying officer.


Overall, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, plays a crucial role in ensuring that industrial establishments operate in a fair and transparent manner, and that the rights of workers are protected. By providing a framework of rules and regulations, standing orders help to create a harmonious relationship between the employer and the workers, which ultimately benefits both parties and contributes to the overall growth and development of the industrial sector.



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