The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (the “ID Act”) has been enacted for the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes in any industrial establishment.

The Industrial Disputes Act defines “Industrial dispute” as a dispute or difference between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen, which is connected with employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or with the conditions of labour. Dismissal of an individual workman is deemed to be an industrial dispute.

The ID Act provides for the constitution of the Works Committee, consisting of employers and workmen, to promote measures for securing and preserving amity and good relations between the employer and the workmen and, to that end, endeavours to resolve any material difference of opinion in respect of such matters.

The ID Act provides for the appointment of Conciliation Officers, Board of Conciliation, Courts of Inquiry, Labour Courts, Tribunals, and National Tribunals for settlement of disputes. Another method recognised for settlement of disputes is through arbitration. The Industrial disputes Act provides a legalistic way of settling disputes. The goal of preventive machinery as provided under the Act is to create an environment where the disputes do not arise at all. The ID Act prohibits unfair labour practices which are defined in the Fifth Schedule—strikes and lockouts (except under certain defined conditions and with proper notice). It also provides for penalties for illegal strikes and lockouts and unfair labour practices and provisions regarding lay off and retrenchment as well as compensation payable thereof.

The ID Act provides that an employer who intends to close down an industrial establishment shall obtain prior permission at least ninety days before the date on which he intends to close down the industrial establishment, giving the reasons thereof.

Article by Sulekha Kaul, Principal Associate, Vaish Associates Advocates
Phone: +91 11 42492516 Email: sulekha@vaishlaw.com