Trade Union & Dispute Settlement under Industrial Relation Code 2020. 

On September 28th, the Lok Sabha passed 3 new labour codes namely  the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 and the Code on Social Security, 2020 among which Industrial Relations Code has encompassed The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 ; The Trade Unions Act, 1926; and The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. 

Registration of Trade Union

Trade union can be registered by any seven or more members subscribing their names to the rules of the trade union and by complying with the provisions under this code for registration of trade union. A trade union will not be registered under this code unless ten percent of the workers or one hundred workers whichever is less engaged or employed in the industrial establishment or industry with which it is connected are the members of such Trade Union on the date of making an application for registration.

At any time after the date of the application but before the registration of the Trade Union, any member but not exceeding half of the total applicant ceases to be the member of the trade union shall not affect the validity of the application made for the registration of trade union under section 6(1).

A registered trade union shall have at least ten percent workers or one hundred workers whichever is less anytime during its course of work including minimum seven members  engaged or employed in an industrial establishment or industry with which it is connected.

Negotiating Union

Under the Industrial Relation Code, 2020, a negotiating union must be established in an industrial establishment having registered Trade Unions for negotiating with the employer. 

Where in an industrial establishment there is only one registered trade union, such trade union of workers shall be recognized as a sole negotiating union of the workers. In an industrial establishment where more than one trade union is registered, the trade union having fifty-one percent or more workers on the muster roll of that industrial establishment, shall be recognized by the employer. 

If there is more than one trade union and no trade union has 51 % support from the industrial establishment then the employer must create a Negotiating Council, which will have representative  members from such trade unions. The trade unions which can sent their representatives to such Negotiating Council must have a support of 21% or more members from the industrial establishment, only one representative per union  is to be allowed to be a part of the Negotiating Council. 

Standing Order 

Standing orders are basically rules and regulations governing people and matters in certain areas, according to schedule 1 of the IR Code the matters for which standing orders is to be created are, 1. Classification of workers, whether permanent, temporary, apprentices, probationers, badlis or fixed term employment. 2. Manner of intimating to workers periods and hours of work, holidays, pay-days and wage rates. 3. Shift working. 4. Attendance and late coming. 5. Conditions of, procedure in applying for, and the authority which may grant leave and holidays. 6. Requirement to enter premises by certain gates, and liability to search. 7. Closing and reporting of sections of the industrial establishment, temporary stoppages of work and the rights and liabilities of the employer and workers arising therefrom. 8. Termination of employment, and the notice thereof to be given by employer and workers. 9. Suspension or dismissal for misconduct, and acts or omissions which constitute misconduct. 10. Means of redress for workers against unfair treatment or wrongful exactions by the employer or his agents or servants. 

These rules are applicable to establishments of 300 and over personnel. 


Under the act, there are 4 types of grievance redressal mechanisms, namely

1. Bi-partite Forums 

2. Voluntary Arbitration

3. Industrial tribunal 

4. National Industrial Tribunal.

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May 2021