Reforms in the Industrial Disputes Act
There was recently a news item in the Economic Times of Thursday 4th May 2017. A precis would read somewhat as follows: The Maharashtra Govt seems to be going the whole hog on reforms with the state bringing back a crucial amendment in the Industrial Disputes Act that allows companies employing upto 300 workers to lay them off or shut down a plant without first seeking the state’s consent.
Insiders tell me that the so called amendment is only wishful thinking and that no such amendment has been announced in reality. This might also be kite flying in the sense of testing the water to gauge the reaction of various stakeholders before actually amending the law.
The current status is that only those employers who employ less than 100 workmen do not need to seek prior permission of the government.
It has long been the desire of the employers who employ 100 or more workmen that they should not have to seek the permission of the government before laying off or retrenching their employees.
It seems that the employers have an indefinite wait, before the government delivers on the campaign promise of revising and updating various labour laws. The reality is that there have been only relatively minor changes in various labour laws. No substantive changes have yet been made by the Center or Maharashtra State – with the exception of the well publicized amendment of the Maternity Benefit Act where the maternity leave has been increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
Caveat: The views expressed are solely those of the writer and not those of SIU or SCMHRD or of Director Sheorey.
Dr. Philip Coelho