Government issues draft standing orders on WFH under new Industrial Relations Code

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Government issues the Draft Model Standing Orders for the Manufacturing Sector, Mining Sector, and Service Sector; invites suggestions/objections from the stakeholders within a period of thirty days.

The Government / Labour Ministry on January 1 has published the draft Model Standing Orders for the Manufacturing Sector, Mining Sector and Service Sector in the official gazette, inviting suggestions/objections from the stakeholders within a period of thirty days. Keeping in view the needs of the services sector, a separate Model Standing Orders for Services Sector has been prepared first time.

​The salient features of these Model Standing Orders are as follows

  • Where an employer adopts a Model Standing Orders of the Central Government with respect to matters relevant to his industrial establishment or undertaking, then, such model standing order shall be deemed to have been certified.
  • The model standing orders adopted in respect of an industrial establishment shall also be applicable to all other industrial units of the industrial establishment irrespective of location.   
  • ​Uniformity has been maintained in all the three Model Standing Orders while providing some flexibility considering the sector-specific requirements.
  • All the three Model Standing Orders encourage employers for use of information technology in dissemination of information to the workers through electronic mode.
  • To provide safeguard to IT industry, “Involvement in unauthorized access of any IT system, computer network of the employer/ customer/client” has been prescribed as a misconduct.
  • The concept of “Work from home” has been formalized in the Model Standing Orders for Service Sector. 
  • The Model Standing Orders for Services Sector inter alia provides that in case of IT Sector, the working hour shall be as per agreement or conditions of appointment between employer and workers.
  • “Habitual” with  respect to indiscipline has been defined if the worker found guilty of any misconduct three or more times in preceding twelve months.
  • Rail Travel Facility has been extended to the workers in the mining sector. Presently, it is being availed by the workers in coal mines only.​

Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour & Employment said “ These Model Standing Orders will pave the way for the industry harmony in the country as it aim to formalize the service-related matters in an amicable manner”. 

The draft standing orders have been released for public comments over the next 30 days. The IRC is among the four new streamlined labour codes which amalgamate 29 labour laws. The Centre is in the process of implementing these by April 1, 2021. Other three codes are the Wage Code, Code on Social Security and Code on Occupational Safety


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