In this blog post, Rajan S, a Contract Engineer with Amec Foster Wheeler Group, who is currently pursuing a Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws from NUJS, Kolkata, writes about he conciliation proceedings under the Industrial Disputes Act.
Conciliation means a process whereby parties by mutual consent appoint conciliator or conciliation officers to assist them in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their industrial dispute arising out of a contractual relationship.
Section 4 of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 authorizes the appropriate government to engage such number of persons as may be deemed necessary by notification in the Official Gazette as conciliation officers, for discharging the responsibility of mediating in and promoting the settlement of industrial disputes.
Section 12 of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 provides duties of conciliation officers.
The conciliation officers do not have the authority to impose upon the parties a solution of or to dispute.
The contract shall clearly draft by setting out the conciliation process not limited to as below:
- Scope and applicability
- Panel of Conciliators
- Appointment and Number of Conciliators
- Commencement of Conciliation proceedings
- Procedure to be followed by the Conciliation officers
- Role of the Conciliation officers
- Venue for Conciliation Proceedings
- Time Frame
- Remuneration & Cost
- Settlement Agreement
- Termination of Conciliation proceedings
The Conciliation proceedings are concluded in the following manner:
- Where conciliation ended in settlement – the date on which settlement is signed by the parties to the disputes or
- Where conciliation ended in failure, the date on which the appropriate Govt receives the failure report of a conciliation officer. or
- When a reference is made to a Labour Court/Industrial Tribunal during the pendency of conciliation proceedings.
In the case of non settlement or failure of conciliation, copies of failure report under Section 12 (A) of Industrial Disputes Act 1947 are required to be sent to the parties to the dispute.
If the party raising the dispute fails to turn-up without reasonable cause, the case may be closed under intimation to it. If the opposite party fails to turn-up, in spite of having been given reasonable no. of opportunities, an adverse inference may be drawn, and the case is proceeded with on ex-parte basis