The Industrial Relations Code, 2020 is a code in which which the three industrial codes regarding the Workers’ Disputes: Industrial Disputes Act 1947, Trade Unions: The Trade Unions Act 1926 and Standing Orders: The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946 have been amalgamated to form a modified code for the benefit of the workers.
Highlights of the IR code: The threshold of 100 workers in the previous code has increased to 300 concerning permission to retrench. A fund for reskilling retrenched workers has been created from the contributions of the employees. Many other important changes and additions to this code ar re the grant of permission for the establishment of Grievance Redressal Committees in every industry, the formation of a Working Committee if the number of workers exceeds 100 (Ch. II: BI-PARTITE FOURMS); registration, recognition and dissolution of trade unions (Ch. III: TRADE UNIONS).
Further, there is also a provision made for the establishment of the constitution of a negotiating council where there is no single union that meets the 51% threshold. Industrial Relations Code 2020 also provides that if the central/state government believes that there is a need for a union or confederation to be recognized as a central/state union, that government may recognize it.
Arbitration Under The Code: The Industrial Relations Code, 2020 Chapter VI explains the way of dispute resolution through an arbitration agreement. It starts with the explanation of an Arbitration Application (S.42(1)), the appointment of an arbitrator (S.42(2)), government notification for industrial dispute (S.42(5)), prohibition of a lock-out after arbitration reference (S.42(7)).
Chapter VII titled Mechanism for Resolution of Industrial Disputes includes the appointment of conciliation officers (S.43(1)(2)) and the appointment and constitution of industrial tribunals (S.44(1) to (10)).
Chapter VIII imposes a blanket prohibition on strikes and lockouts across all industrial establishments without notice. No unit can go on strike in breach of contract without giving 60-day notice before the strike.
All the additions and changes made in the new labour court are for the welfare, development and benefit of industrial labour.