Industrial Relations Management

Industrial Relations Management

This course contains the basics of Industrial Relations Management

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Industrial Relations Management

Labour administration machinery of the central government

The main responsibility for labour administration of the Government of India vests in the Ministry of Labour. The Ministry presently consists of the main Ministry(Secretariat), and four attached offices, ten subordinate offices, four autonomous organization, a number adjudication bodies and one arbitration body.


The chief labour Commissioner’s organization has the responsibility to enforce the Industrial Disputes Act, 1948, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 and Rules in respect of Mines, Railways and Air Transport Services , the Minimum Wages act ,1948, the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, the Equal Remuneration Act , 1976, the Interstate Migrant Workmen (RE&CS) act,1979, payment of bonus act 1965, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Ac t , 1986, Payment of gratuity act,1972 , Labour laws Act, 1988, Building and other construction workers (RE&CS) Act, 1996, Indian Railway Act and Hours of Employment Regulations for Railway employees, industrial employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (Mines and circus rules, 1963) for organizations where the central government is the appropriate government. The Central Provident fund commissioner enforces the Employees Provident Fund Act. The director general , employees state Insurance Corporation enforces the ESI Act

The Organisation of the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) known as (CIRM) was set up in April 1945, in pursuance of the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Labour in India with the specific duty of preventing and settling industrial disputes, enforcing labour laws and promoting the welfare of workers in the undertakings falling in the sphere of the central government. Combining the former Organisation of conciliation officers (Railways), Supervisors of Railway Labour and the Labour Welfare Advisors, it started with a small complement of staff, compromising the chief labour Commissioner (Central) at New Delhi, 3 regional labour commissioners (central) at Bombay, Calcutta and Lahore, 8 Conciliation Officers and 18 Labour Inspectors. As a consequence of the increase in the number of labour laws, and the number of industrial establishments, the responsibilities of the Organisation have increased enormously, and the number of officers too has increased.


The Organization of the Chief Labour Commissioner (C)) known as Central Industrial Relations Machinery was set up in April, 1945 in pursuance of the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Labour in India and was then charged mainly with duties of prevention and settlement of industrial disputes, enforcement of labour laws and to promote welfare of workers in the undertakings falling within the sphere of the Central Government. Combining the former organizations of the Conciliation Officer (Railways) and Supervisor of Railway Labour and the Labour Welfare Advisor, it started with a small complement of staff comprising Chief Labour Commissioner (C)) at New Delhi, 3 Regional Labour Commissioners at Bombay, Calcutta & Lahore and 8 Conciliation Officer and increased gradually consequent upon expanding labour legislation's in the Post-independence period, increased industrial activity in the country and growing responsibilities of the Organization.

Presently there are 20 regions each headed by a Regional Labour Commissioner (C) with Headquarters at Ajmer , Ahmadabad, Asansol, Bangalore, Bombay, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Cochin, Calcutta, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jabalpur, Madras, New Delhi, Patna, Nagpur, Dhanbad, Dehradun, Raipur and Kanpur. Out of these, 14 regions have been placed under the supervision of three zonal Dy. CLCs(C) and 4 regional offices are supervised directly by Headquarters office of CLC(C).

Directorate General Factory Advice Service Labour Institute:

The office of the chief adviser of factories, which is now called directorate general, factory advice service and labour institutes, was setup in 1945 with the objective of advising central and state governments on administration of the factories act and coordinating the factory inspection services in states. The directorate general, factory advice and labour institutes comprise:

  • Head quarters situated in Mumbai
  • Central labour institute in Mumbai.
  • Regional labour institutes in Chennai, Kanpur, Kolkata and Faridabad.

The DGFASLI is an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India and serves as a technical arm to assist the Ministry in formulating national policies on occupational safety and health in factories and docks. It also advises factories on various problems concerning safety, health, efficiency and well - being of the persons at work places.

Labour Bureau :

Labour Statistics in India may be said to have originated when the first national population census was conducted in 1872. This census gave not only the count of number of persons, but also the number of gainfully employed. Since then every census has thrown useful data on workers in different industries and occupations every 10 years. Besides the statistics on employment thrown by the census, other data on labour statistics until the Second World War, were collected on ad-hoc basis, mostly as a byproduct of administration of labour laws and not as a basis for formulation of labour policies. The Royal Commission on Labour in 1931 pointed out the need for systematic collection of labour statistics. It observed that the policy must be built on facts as the uncertainty of facts would lead to confusion and conflict regarding its aim. The Commission recommended the adoption of suitable legislation enabling the Competent Authority to collect and collate information regarding the living, working and socio-economic conditions of industrial labour. Further, the inflationary pressure during the early period of the Second World War gave rise to demands of workers for compensation in their wages necessitating setting up of machinery for measuring changes in prices.

ccordingly, Government of India constituted & set up the Rau Court of Enquiry in 1940 under the Trade Disputes Act (1929) to recommend statistical machinery for measuring movement in prices. The Rau Court of Enquiry recommended compilation and maintenance of Cost of Living Index Numbers for measuring the rate of compensation to be paid to the workers for the rise in cost of living.

This recommendation of the Rau Court of Enquiry (1940) led to setting up of the Directorate of Cost of Living at Shimla in 1941 with the objective of conducting Family Budget Enquiries and compiling Cost of Living Index Numbers for important centers in the country on a uniform basis. The Directorate conducted enquiries during the period 1943-45. However, with the increased Government intervention in the field of industrial relations during the Second World War, the need for more systematic collection and processing of labour statistics acquired significance. The result was the enactment of Industrial Statistics Act in 1942 to facilitate collection of statistics on

  1. matters relating to factories and
  2. certain specified areas of welfare and conditions of labour.

Further, arrangements were made for the collection and processing of the data flowing from the administration of important labour Acts, such as the Trade Unions Act, 1926 and the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, etc. The need for more comprehensive labour statistics in the context of formulation of labour policy led to the setting up of the Labour Bureau on October 1, 1946 by rechristening the Directorate of Cost of Living with added functions. Since then Labour Bureau is engaged in collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of statistics on different facets of labour at All India level.

Labour Bureau is responsible for the collation, collection and publication of statistics and related information on wages, earnings, productivity, absenteeism, labour turn-over, industrial relations, working and living conditions and evaluation of working of various labour enactments etc. It is a storehouse of important economic indicators like Consumer Price Index Numbers for Industrial, Agricultural and Rural Labourers; wage rate indices and data on industrial relations, socio-economic conditions in the organized and unorganized sector of industry etc. The functions/activities of Labour Bureau can be classified under three major heads:

  1. Labour Intelligence
  2. Labour Research.
  3. Monitoring and evaluation studies under the Minimum Wages Act 1948


The subordinate offices under the ministry of labour are: the Directorate General of Mines Safety and nine offices of Welfare Commissioners.

Directorate General of Mines Safety

The Organisation has its headquarters at Dhanbad (Jharkhand) and is headed by the Director- General of Mines Safety. At the headquarter, the Director-General is assisted by specialist staff-officers in mining, electrical & mechanical engineering, occupational health, law, survey, statistics, administration and accounts disciplines. The headquarters has also a technical library and S&T laboratories as a back-up support to the organization

Mission of DGMS:

The mission of DGMS is the reduction in risk of occupational diseases and casualty to persons employed in mines, by drafting appropriate legislation and setting standards, by overseeing compliance thereof and through a variety of promotional initiatives and awareness programmes creating an environment in which safety is given due priority.

Vision of DGMS:

The vision of DGMS is “To ensure nationally acceptable and internationally competitive standards of health, safety and welfare for employees of the Indian mines”.

Current functions of DGMS broadly include:

  1. Inspection of Mines;
  2. Investigation into:
    1. Accidents
    2. Dangerous occurrences – emergency response
    3. Complaints and other matters.
  3. Action taken consequent to inspection and enquiry.
  4. Grant of:
    1. Statutory permission, exemption & relaxations – pre-view of project reports & mining plans.
    2. Approval of mine safety equipment, material & appliances.
  5. Interactions for development of safety equipment, material and safe work practices through workshop etc.
  6. Development of Safety Legislation & Standards.
  7. Safety Information Dissemination.
  8. Conduct of Examinations for grant of competency certificates.
  9. Safety promotional initiatives including:
    1. Organisation of:
      • Conference on Safety in Mines
      • National Safety Awards
      • Safety Weeks & Campaigns
    2. Promoting:
      • Safety education and awareness programmes.
      • workers’ participation in safety management through:-
      1. workmen’s inspector
      2. safety committee
      3. tripartite reviews

Welfare Commissioners:

The nine offices of welfare commissioners are responsible for providing welfare facilities to the workers employed in mica, limestone and dolomite, iron ore, manganese and chrome ore mines and in the beedi and cinema industries.

Autonomous organisations

The autonomous organizations of the Ministry are:

  1. Employees State Insurance Corporation,
  2. Employees Provident Fund Organization
  3. Central Board for Workers Education, and
  4. VV Giri National Labour Institute.


Employees’ State Insurance Scheme of India is a multidimensional social security system tailored to provide socio-economic protection to worker population and their dependants covered under the scheme. Besides full medical care for self and dependants, that is admissible from day one of insurable employment, the insured persons are also entitled to a variety of cash benefits in times of physical distress due to sickness, temporary or permanent disablement etc. resulting in loss of earning capacity, the confinement in respect of insured women, dependants of insured persons who die in industrial accidents or because of employment injury or occupational hazard are entitled to a monthly pension called the dependants benefit.

Employees Provident Fund Organization:

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is a Social Security Organisation, which came in to existence under the provisions of The  employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 [Act 19 of 1952]{the Act} –an Act to provide for the institution of provident funds, pension fund and deposit-linked insurance fund for employees in factories and other establishments. The sole objective behind the creation of EPFO is to administer the provisions of the Act and the three schemes framed there under  namely Employees '  Provident  Fund Scheme , 1952, Employees' Pension Scheme, 1995 and Employees' Deposit-Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976. All these three schemes are framed with an objective to provide monetary benefits to the working class in Commercial and Industrial Establishments by way of accumulated provident fund and pension benefits at the time of deth/retirement and Insurance Benefit to the family members of the covered employees in case of their death while in service.

The main functions of the E.P.F. Organisation are as follows:-

  1. To make the benefits available to all the eligible employees in all the covered establishments in the proper manner and at the proper time.
  2. To secure from the employers compliance with the statutory provisions by ensuring prompt deposit of statutory dues and submission of returns.
  3. To maintain the accounts of the three funds and of the subscribers.
  4. To grant advances to the subscribers from their credit in the E.P.F. for certain specific purposes in times of need.
  5. To keep each subscriber informed about the amount at his credit in the Provident Fund by furnishing to him every year a statement of Provident Fund accounts.
  6. To settle accounts of the subscribers promptly in the event of death or on the cessation of membership.

Central Board for Workers Education (CBWE)

The Central Board for Workers Education was set up in 1958 as a tripartite society in the Ministry of Labour. Its headquarter is in Nagpur.

The objectives of the Board inter alia include:

  • To strengthen among working class a sense of patriotism, national integrity, unity, communal harmony and secularism
  • To equip all section of workers for their intelligent participation in social and economic development of the nation
  • To develop among workers a greater understanding of the problems of their social and economic environment, their responsibilities, and their rights and obligations and citizens, as workers and as members and office-bearers of trade unions.
  • To develop leadership from among the rank-and-file of workers
  • To develop strong, united and more responsible trade unions
  • To strengthen democratic processes and traditions in the trade union movement
  • To enable trade unions themselves to take over ultimately the functions of workers education.

VV. Giri National Labour Institute:

V.V.Giri National Labour institute (WGNLI), an autonomous body of the Ministry of Labour, Government of India, which was set up in July.1974, has grown into a premier Institute of labour research and education. Since its inception, the Institute has endeavored through its research, training education and publications to reach out to diverse groups concerned with various aspects of labour in the organized and the unorganized sectors. The focus of such endeavors is the concern to transfer academic insights and understanding for application to policy formulation and act on so as to ensure a just place for labour in an egalitarian and democratic society.

Research occupies a primary place in the activities of the Institute. The subject of research comprises a broad spectrum of labour related problems in both the organized and unorganized sectors. While determining the topics of research, care is also taken to identify subjects and issues of current topical concern and policy relevance. The Institute continues to place greater emphasis on the problems and issues of labour in the unorganized sector in general and the more disadvantaged among these such as child labour, women labour, and migrant labour and rural labour in particular. Research activities also explore the basic needs of different groups of trainees such as trade union leaders and organizers in both the organized and unorganized sectors, managers of public and private sectors, labour administrators, and volunteers of non-governmental organisations.

Some of the following major Research/action Research projects are:

  • Integrated Project on Labour History - This include process integration of Archive of Indian Labour, collection of labour movement related material etc.
  • Prevention of HIV/AIDS at the Workplace - VVGNLI is the Technical Resource Group on Prevention of HIV/AIDS in the World of Work under the National AIDS Control Programme.


The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 provides for setting up of Labour Courts, Industrial Tribunals and National Tribunals.

Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunals are set up by the Central Government and the State Government or the Administrations of Union Territories for dealing with matters which fall in the Central and the State sphere respectively. It is, however, open to the Central Government to refer a matter in relation to which it is the appropriate Government to a Labour Court or a Industrial Tribunal constituted by the State Govt.

Labour Courts deal with matters pertaining to discharge and dismissal of workmen, application and interpretation of Standing Orders, propriety of orders passed under Standing Orders, legality of strikes of lock outs etc.

Industrial Tribunals deal with collective disputes such as wages, hours of work, leave, retrenchment, and closure as well as all matters which come under the jurisdiction of Labour Courts.
The Central Government may set up a National Tribunal for adjudication of industrial disputes which in its opinion involve questions of national importance or are of such nature that industrial establishments in more than one State are likely to be interested in such disputes.

The Presiding Officer of a Labour Court should at least have held a judicial office for not less than 7 years or been a Presiding Officer of a labour Court under a State Act for not less than 5 years. He may also have higher qualifications such as being a District Judge or an Additional District Judge for three years or a High Court Judge. The Presiding Officer of an Industrial Tribunal should have been at least a District Judge or an Additional District Judge for three years. Alternatively, he should have held the post of a judge in a High Court. No person can be appointed as the presiding Officer of a National Tribunal unless he has held the post of a Judge in a High Court.


The Government of India had introduced in 1966 a scheme for Joint Consultative Machinery and compulsory arbitration for resolving differences between the Government as an employer and the General Body of its employees.

  1. The Scheme provide for compulsory arbitration on pay and allowances, weekly hours of work and leave of a class or grade of employees.
  2. Under the Scheme, the Board of Arbitration (JCM) was set up in July 1968.  The Board consists of a Chairman and two other members. While the Chairman is a whole time person, the other two members are appointed by the Ministry of Labour at the time of referring the dispute to the Board, out of a panel of members both from the staff side as well as from the official side maintained by it.
  3. The Scheme Covers:
    1. Group ‘D’ and Group ‘C’.
    2. Group ‘B’ officers of the Central Secretariat Services and the other comparable services in the headquarters organization of the Government.
    3. Employees in industrial establishments excluding.
      • those employed in managerial or administrative capacity and
      • those who being employed in supervisory capacity.
    4. The Scheme does not cover employees of the Union Territories and the police.
    5. Till date, 259 cases had been referred to the Board and the Board has disposed or 257 cases.


The machineries for labour administration in the states are similar to those operating at the center. As explained earlier in the chapter, most of the important labour subjects in the concurrent list of the constitution. The central government is empowered to give direction to the state government and to delegate powers and impose duties on them. Many central labour laws are enforced both by the central and state government in industries or  establishments falling under their respective jurisdictions.

Generally speaking, labour administration of the state governments is on a pattern similar to central labour administration with slight variations relating to implementing agencies and the requirements of the state enactments and non-statutory labour programmes. the main organizations for labour administration in the states comprise, department of labour and employment (secretariat), office of labour commissioner chief inspectorate of factories, chief inspectorate of boilers, office of chief inspector, shops and establishments, directorate, employment and training, directorate, medical services ESI scheme), social security directorate and adjudication authorities.


The responsibility for labour administration in the states generally vests in the department of labour and employment, the secretariat of which represents the government side. It is generally in charge of a minister, who may occasionally be assisted by a minister of state and deputy minister. on the official side, the secretary or the principal secretary is the chief executive. his team generally includes an additional secretary, and a few joint secretaries, deputy secretaries and under secretaries according to requirements. it is this organization that formulates the labour policy of the state, establishes liaison with the central ministry of labour coordinates and guides the activities of enforcing machineries and takes decisions on behalf of the government.


The Labour Department, Government of N.C.T. of Delhi is headed by Secretary (Labour), who is assisted by Commissioner, Special Labour Commissioner, Deputy Labour Commissioners, Assistant Labour Commissioners, Chief Inspector of Factories, Electrical Inspector, Chief Inspector of Boilers, Chief Inspector of Shops and Establishments, Labour Officers, Welfare Officer and other supporting staff.
With a view to make the administration responsive to the needs of the people and bring governance to their doorsteps, the department has been organized on territorial basis into nine districts.
Each district is headed by a Deputy Labour Commissioner who is assisted by Asstt. Labour Commissioners and Labour Officers.


The Chief Inspector of Factories is assisted by Deputy Chief Inspectors of Factories, Inspectors of Factories and Inspector of Factories (Medical). The Chief Inspector of Factories, who heads this Inspectorate works under the administrative control of Labour Commissioner cum Secretary (Labour) of Government of NCT of Delhi. The Inspectors work under the supervisory control of Dy. Chief Inspectors of Factories. The Dy. Chief Inspectors of Factories and Inspector of Factories (Medical) operate from Headquarters.


The boilers are inspected by the Boiler Inspectorate as per the procedure laid under Indian Boilers Regulations –1950, during use, and if found satisfactory are allowed to be worked for a maximum period of 12 months as per the provisions of Indian Boiler Act - 1923. The boilers are also casually visited to check the validity of the certificate, their safe and efficient operation. The Inspectorate also guides the boiler owners to work the boilers more efficiently keeping in view Basic Objective of the Act i.e. the "Protection of Human Life & Property from the explosions of the Boilers".


The object of Delhi Shops and Establishments Act, 1954, is to give some minimum benefits and relief to the vast unorganized sector of employees, employed in Shops and Establishments. Industrial Dispute Act 1947, and Delhi Shops & Establishments. Act, 1954 are supplemental to each other.

The Act is enforced through the Chief Inspector of Shops (CIS) and various inspectors under the Act, who are posted in nine districts of the capital who function under the supervision and control of Dy./ Asstt. Labour Commissioners of the concerned district. Chief Inspector functions under the supervision of Dy. Labour Commissioners (CIS) who in turn functions under the supervision of LC.


The organization primarily looks after the operation of employment exchanges, industrial training institutes, vocational guidance programme and some other institutions. The activities of the directorate are essentially governed by the policies, standards and procedures set by the central directorate general, employment and training. Other activities of the organization include employment market information, vocational rehabilitation centers, and training of handicapped groups such as women and physically handicapped. The training wing of the department also looks after the implementation of the apprentices act, 1961. Generally, the directorate functions independently of the organizing of labour commissioner.


The main responsibility for the operation of medical benefit under the employees’ state insurance act, 1948 lies with the state governments which are required to make available the services of the medical and para-medical personnel. In most the states a special wing has been established for the purpose. As the medical benefit under the ESI scheme has been extended also to the family members of the insured persons and superannuated employees, the responsibility of the state governments in this regard has increases. A director, administrative medical officer or a chief medical officer under the labour department has been made in charge of the wing.


A few states have established social security directorates for implementing certain social security schemes for the poor, unorganized workers, rehabilitation of bonded labourers and implementation of the interstate migrant workmen (regulation of employment and conditions of services) act, 1979. They also look after the implementation of national old age pension scheme, national family benefit scheme and national maternity benefit scheme.


The state governments have also constituted labour courts and tribunals under the industrial disputes act, 1947, and a few of them have set up other adjudication authorities such as industrial courts and wages boards under state laws. As on October 31,1998, as many as 214 labour courts, 97 tribunals and 22 labour courts-cum-tribunals were functioning in the states.