Parliament passes Industrial Disputes Amendment Bill

The Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2010, which was approved by the Lok Sabha, provides for a workman to approach labour court after 45 days of his dismissal without reference from appropriate government, Centre or state. The bill was earlier passed by the Rajya Sabha.

"During the conciliation period, people used to indulge in delaying tactics. The Standing Committee suggested that the period be reduced to 45 days," Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said winding up the debate on the Bill.

The original Bill had provided for a three-month waiting period for filing of complaint by a dismissed worker. But, it was reduced to 45 days on the recommendations of the Standing Committee.

The Bill, which seeks to amend the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, also provides for establishment of a grievance redressal machinery in every industrial unit employing 20 or more workmen. According to the bill, a person receiving up to Rs 10,000 per month would be treated as workman under the new provisions. At present, the limit is Rs 1,600 a month.

On the demand of members for further raising the limit, Kharge said, "Most of the stakeholders whom the ministry met had objections to raising the limit....if we can increase it further after consultations, I will get back to the House."

Under the present law, the workman whose services have been dismissed, retrenched or terminated is unable to approach the Labour Court or Tribunal in the absence of a reference of industrial dispute by the appropriate government.

"This causes delay and untold sufferings to the workmen", the statement of objects and reasons of the bill said.

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