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Standing Orders in India: Procedure and Modification under the Industrial Employment Act, 1946

The concept of Standing Orders is enshrined within the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. Standing Orders serve as the fundamental rules governing the conduct of industrial workers and regulating the terms of employment. They ensure uniformity, clarity, and transparency in the employer-employee relationship.

Procedure for Certification of Standing Orders

The process of certification involves the submission, scrutiny, and approval of standing orders by the competent authority. Here's a step-by-step breakdown:

1. Submission of Draft Standing Orders:

  • The employer drafts the standing orders in accordance with Schedule I of the Act.

  • The draft is then submitted to the Certifying Officer.

2. Notice to Workmen:

  • The Certifying Officer sends the draft to the workers' representatives for comments.

3. Hearing and Settlement of Objections:

  • A hearing is conducted to address any objections.

  • The Certifying Officer may make necessary modifications.

4. Certification:

  • If the draft is found to be fair and reasonable, it is certified by the Certifying Officer.

  • The certified standing order becomes operative.

5. Appeal:

  • Aggrieved parties may appeal to the Appellate Authority within 30 days of certification.

Modification of Standing Orders

Standing Orders can be modified by following these steps:

1. Proposal for Modification:

  • The employer or workers may propose changes, but not before six months from the last certification or modification.

2. Notice and Objection Handling:

  • The proposal is sent to the other party, and objections are handled as in the certification process.

3. Certification of Modification:

  • The Certifying Officer reviews the proposed modifications and can certify them if deemed appropriate.

Relevant Case Laws

  1. Bharat Forge Co. Ltd. v. Uttam Manohar Nakate: This case emphasizes the importance of compliance with the standing orders.

  2. Tata Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. v. Their Workmen: This case sets the precedent for a valid modification of standing orders.

Conclusion: Standing Orders Procedure

Standing Orders are a crucial aspect of industrial relations in India, ensuring a harmonious relationship between employers and employees. The procedure for certification of standing orders and modification is clearly laid out and is instrumental in providing a systematic way of regulating terms of employment. Compliance with these procedures is essential for maintaining industrial peace and productivity.

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