- Standing Orders under The Industrial Employment Act, 1946 is an important document in labor law to address dispute between employee and employer in an Industry. Procedure for the same has been provided under The Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Act , 1946.
- To avoid friction amongst the employers and workmen employed in an industry is the principal aim of Indian Legislation in India.
- It was considered that the society had a vital interest in the settlement of terms of employment of Industrial Labor and also settlement of Labor problems. Therefore, the steps were taken by the Central Government to enact Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 with a view to afford protection to the workmen with regard to conditions of employment.
- It has been observed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the report: Management, Shahdara (Delhi) Saharanpur Light Railway Co. Ltd. V/s S.S. Railway Workers’ Union, AIR 1969 , that the object of Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) is to require employers to define with certainty conditions of service in their industrial establishment and to reduce them to writing and to get them compulsorily certified (Section 3 of the ISO), so that unnecessary industrial disputes can be avoided.
Standing Order Definition :
Section 2(g) of the Act states that “standing orders” are the rules relating to matters set out in the Schedule, i.e. with reference to:
- Classification of workmen e.g. whether permanent, temporary, apprentices, probationers, or baldish.
- Manner of intimating to workmen periods and hours of work, holidays, pay-days and wage rates.
- Shift working.
- Attendance and late coming
- Conditions of, procedure in applying for, and the authority which may grant leave and holidays.
- Requirement to enter premises by certain gates, and liability to search.
- Closing and reporting of sections of the industrial establishment, temporary stoppages of work and the rights and liabilities of the employer and workmen arising there from
- Termination of employment, and the notice to be given by employer and workmen.
- Suspension or dismissal for misconduct, and acts or omissions which constitute misconduct.
- Means of redress for workmen against unfair treatment or wrongful exactions by the employer or his agents or servants
- Any other matter which may be prescribed.
Objective of the Act
- The purpose of having Standing Orders at the plant level and other commercial establishments is to regulate industrial relations.
- This Orders regulate the conditions of employment, grievances, misconduct etc. of the workers employed in industrial undertakings.
- Unsolved grievances can become industrial disputes.
Procedure for the Approval of Standing Orders:
The main provision that deal for the approval of Standing Orders are:
Procedure for the submission of Draft Standing Orders [Section 3]
- The employer of every industrial establishment is required to submit to the Certifying Officer, draft standing orders proposed by him
- For adoption in his industrial establishment for certification under Section 3 of the act.
- The Certifying Officer is empowered to modify or add to the draft as is necessary to render the draft standing orders certifiable under the ISO.
- It is important to note that, draft standing orders submitted to the Certifying Officer are to be accompanied by a statement giving prescribed particulars of the workmen employed in the industrial establishment including the name of the trade union, if any, to which the workmen belong.
- ‘Draft Standing Order’ within six months of its applicability to the industrial establishment,
- As per the provisions of the Industrial employment Standing order, under section 14 the Appropriate Government is to set out model standing orders.
S.K. Sheshadri v H.A.L and others, (1983) :In this case, the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court held that, as long as the Standing Orders fall within the Schedule to the Act, irrespective of the fact that they contain additional provisions which are not accounted for in the MSOs, the Standing Orders would not be deemed to be invalid or ultra vires of the Act. The MSOs only serve as a model for framing the Standing Orders.
Hindustan Lever v Workmen, (1974)In the present case, the issue relating to the ‘transfer of workmen’ was highlighted by concurring that, the Manager is vested with the discretion of transfer of workmen amongst different departments of the same company, so far as the terms of the contract of employment are not affected. Further, if the transfer is found to be valid, the onus of proving it to be invalid lies on the workmen in dispute.
Procedure for the Conditions for Certification of Standing Orders [Section4]. Under section 4 of the act confers condition upon fulfilment of which a standing order can be certified.
- The draft standing orders framed by an employer should as far as practicable be in conformity with model standing orders.
- Any industrial establishment can accept the model standing orders; the model standing orders are temporarily applicable to an industrial establishment which comes under the provisions of the ISO and whose standing orders are not finally certified.
- An employer who fails to submit draft standing orders or an employer who does any act in contravention of the standing orders finally certified under the provisions of the ISO shall be punished with fine as specified in Section 13 of the ISO.
Procedure for Certification of Standing Orders (Procedure for Adoption) [Section 5].
- On receipt of the draft standing order from the employer, the Certifying Officer shall forward a copy of it to the trade union, if any, of the workmen, or where there is no such trade union, to the workmen, in the prescribed form calling for objections, if any, which the workmen may desire to make to the draft standing order to be submitted to the Certifying Officer within 15 days from the receipt of the notice.
- The Certifying officer receipt of the draft Standing Orders from the employer shall forward a copy of the draft standing orders to the recognized trade union of the establishment seeking submission of objection to draft standing orders if any.
- After giving the employer and the trade union (or representatives of the workmen) an opportunity of being heard, the Certifying Officer shall decide whether or not any modification or addition to the draft standing order submitted by the employer is necessary to render the draft standing order certifiable under the IDA, and shall make an order in writing accordingly. The Certifying Officer shall thereupon certify the draft standing order, after making any modifications and within 7 days send copies of the certified standing order to the employer and to the trade union (or representatives of the workmen)
- The conditions of employment, which will be binding on the employer and the workmen from the date when they become operational.
In the matter of: Rohtak & Hisar District Supply Co. Ltd. V/s State of U.P., AIR 1966
It was held that:
- The Certifying Officer has no jurisdiction to certify standing orders in respect of matters not included in the Schedule to the ISO.
- The employer cannot insist upon adding a condition to the standing order which relates to a matter which is not included in the Schedule annexed to the ISO.
- Provision may be made in the standing order concerning the rights and liabilities of the employer and the employees and their enforcement by an internal arrangement between employer and his employees.
Appeals [Section 6]:
According to Section 6 of the ISO,
- Any employer, workman, trade union or other prescribed representative of the workmen, aggrieved by the order of the Certifying Officer within 30 days from the date on which copies are sent by the Certifying Officer, appeal to the Appellate Authority, and the Appellate Authority, whose decision shall be final, shall by order in writing confirm the standing orders either in the form certified by the Certifying Officer or after amending the said standing orders by making such modifications/additions as it thinks necessary to render the standing orders certifiable under the ISO.
- The Appellate Authority has to within 7 days of its order under Section 6 (1) of the ISO, send copies thereof of the Certifying Officer, to the employer and to the trade union or other prescribed representatives of the workmen, accompanied, unless it has confirmed without amendment the standing orders as certified by the Certifying Officer, by copies of the standing orders as certified by it and authenticated in the prescribed manner.
Modification of Standing Order: Section 10
- Standing Order finally certified under the Act shall not, except on agreement between the employers and the workmen or their Trade Union be liable to modification until the expiry of 6 months from the date on which the standing orders came into operation.
- Subject to the provision of sub-section (1), an employer or workman or a trade union or other representative body of the workmen may apply to the Certifying Officer to have the standing orders modified, and such application shall be accompanied by 5 copies of the modifications proposed to be made.
Management, Shahdara (Delhi) Saharanpur Light Railway Co. Ltd. V/s S.S. Railway Workers’ Union, AIR 1969 ,it was held that: An application for modification of standing orders would ordinarily be made in the following cases:
- Where a change of circumstances has occurred; or,
- Where the standing order has resulted in inconvenience, hardship, anomaly etc.; or,
- Where some fact was lost sight of at the time of certification; or,
- Where the applicant feels that modification will be more beneficial; and,
- Once a standing order is modified it can be further modified if new circumstances have arisen since the last modification.
Offences and Punishment:
- An employer fails to submit the draft Standing Orders as required by Section 3 or who modified his standing orders otherwise with sec.10 shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs.5000 and in case of continuing offence with a further fine of Rs.200 for every day after the first during which the offence continues.
- An employer who does act in contravention of the standing orders finally certified under this act for industrial establishment shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs.100 and in case of continuous offence with further fine of Rs.25 every day after the first during which the offence continues.
- No persecution for any offence punishable under this section 13 shall be instituted except with the previous sanction of the appropriate government. It can be tried only in the Court of a presidency magistrate or the second-class magistrate.