standing orders
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This article is written by Asgar Ali, pursuing a Diploma in Industrial and Labour Laws from LawSikho.com. Here he discusses “Key Personnel Involved in the Implementation of Standing Orders within a Company and Their Duties”.

The aim of Standing Order Act is to require employers in any Industrial establishment to formally define conditions of employment under them. This Act has been designed to provide service rules to workmen. 

 This Act came into force on date 23 April 1946 with the title “The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 and is applicable to the whole of India. In every industrial establishment wherein One Hundred or more workmen are employed in any day of the previous year (However, State Government may prescribe to enforce compliance of this Act over Industrial Establishment owing a lower quantity of workmen too like in States of Haryana and Delhi, the applicability of this Act starts from 50 workmen), the compliance of this act becomes obligatory for that employer. 

The Term Industrial Establishment can cover as follows:

  • Factory ( i.e. applicability of The Factories Act, 1948 ) 
  • Railways ( i.e. applicability of Indian The Railways Act, 1890 )
  • Establishments ( i.e. applicability of The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 )
  • Company
  • Workshop
  • handicraft
  • Construction Work
  • Transport Service
  • Mines
  • Plantation 
  • Workplace related to Transmission of power 
  • Workplace related to building activities/establishment of the contractor
  • Newspaper establishment 
  • Television / Media Industry  
  • Others, related to the similar nature of work 

Here, It is necessary to mention here that in case, a newspaper Industry / Television or Media establishment the applicability of The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 becomes obligatory on 20 workmen or above than twenty (Referring- Section 14 of the Act) and their salary/wages/working hours/leaves and holidays etc. shall be regulated as per The Working Journalist and other Newspapers Employees (Condition of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955 and 1957.   

Key Person Involved In Implementation of Standing Order Within a Company and Their Duties:

1. Employer

he Term Employer is very broader. Section 2(d) of this Act defines the term “employer” which can be as :

  1. In case of a Factory, Any Manager as per the Factories Act, 1948 – Section 7 /1/f. A manager holds administrative as well as Supervisory capacity who performs his duties at the workplace as like owner
  2. Any HOD ( Head of Department ) or any authority appointed by state / central government in case of an Industrial Establishment under the control of that government
  3. Any Supervisor or controller who is responsible to the owner for any industrial establishment other than the control of the government. In other similar viewpoints related to Industrial establishments, an Employer means any Managing Director /Occupier/ CEO / COO / Director /ED / CS / HR Manager or any other similar designation or any other officer who can discharge his duties as “Employer” and to whom the powers and functions can be delegated in this behalf. 

Duties of Employer: 

  1. To submit a draft copy Standing Orders to the Certifying Officer and getting the same approved within a stipulated time frame. Section 3 of this Act says that every employer covered under this Act shall prepare standing orders covering the matters required under it such as classification of workmen, hours of work, holidays, leaves, disciplinary matters/proceedings, misconduct, suspension/termination rules etc.  A Set of Five copies of draft standing order shall be sent by the employer to Certifying Officer ( Labour Commissioner / Joint labour Commissioner / Assistant Labour Commissioner as appointed by Appropriate Government ) of his territorial area for his approval. 
  2. Compliance as per approved Standing order: Employer shall display copies of his approved Standing orders at the entrance of the establishment/ prominent place where the majority of workmen get accumulated i.e. time office/punching machines/ gate entry etc. There is a statutory requirement of Displaying a Certified / Model Standing Orders in English and Hindi as language understood by the majority of Person. 
  3. Copy of standing order has to be given to all employees for their communication and record purpose. 
  4. To make policies and procedures, to define service rules, conditions of employment in conformity of Certified/approved Standing order.
  5. In case any amendment or modification is required, then the employer shall involve and take consents of workers, employees, workers’ Union representatives by communicating necessary changes and shall get their acknowledgement overdraft amended copy for his internal record.
  6. To safeguard and promote the employment rights of his workers in compliance with certified standing orders’ rules. 
  7. Grant of leaves/holidays to workers and timely payment of wages/ salary to workmen and payment as per applicable compliance requirements. 
  8. In any matter related to standing order compliances, to represent as employer/occupier before certifying officer / appropriate government/trade union/board/ external forum like any third party etc.
  9. To maintain Safety, Health fitness and welfare measures of workers in industrial establishment : In present situations, when the manufacturing sector is growing and more workers are demanded in the form of manpower in order to fulfil the manufacturing production targets, the Safety and welfare measures of working people are prime requirement with the intention of ensuring Safe, healthy, secure and most important, a risk-free work environment. This is the reason that as per provisions of the Factories Act, 1948 in a factory, over every 500 working people, there shall be a Welfare officer appointed who shall look after the welfare as well as wellbeing of workers and over every 1000 people there shall be a Safety officer appointed who shall look after and educate the working people of associated safety risks and relevant Safety measure. The employer shall have to comply with the advice of welfare as well as Safety officer/ safety Committee so that there should be no harm at the workplace.
  10. Fair Inquiry / Investigation in case non- compliance caused by workers:  An employer should promote conducting fair inquiry/investigation against an accused worker(s) giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard and presenting his side also. This process should be based upon natural justice with the implementation of certified standing order rules from the side of an employer empowering the constituted committees, appointing inquiry officers, giving them authority to investigate and presenting relevant facts and most important to involve a representative of workers’ trade union, if any. 

No doubt, these essential requirements are incorporated into stranding order rules but it is the duty of the employer to ensure necessary compliances. 

2. Workman

The Term Workman is has been defined clearly in The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 that any person employed in an establishment who is skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled, hired, rewarded to do any manual, clerical, technical, operational and supervisory work but not employed in any managerial or administrative capacity. 

In the Factories Act, 1948, A Worker is defined as any person who is employed, directly or indirectly through contractor (or manpower supply agency), with or without brought into knowledge of principal employer which may be with or without remuneration in any process of manufacturing, any cleaning work of machines, manufacturing premises, allied work activities of manufacturing process. Hence, the implied meaning of worker as per the Factories Act, 1948 covers its employees also. 

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The Standing Orders Act classifies the workers into permanently employed, on a temporary basis, as an apprentice, a probationer, or a badli worker.

Duties of Workmen:

Standing Orders Act not only defines the rights of workers in any industrial establishment but also defines certain roles and responsibilities which are communicated to them by providing them with a copy of certified standing order in English / Hindi or language understood by the majority of workers. In these copies, certain roles responsibilities of workers are written. Few of them are mentioned below: 

  • It is the core responsibility of all types of workmen and employees to obey certain applicable rules and regulations mentioned in certified standing order rulebook of their industrial establishment where they are working like entry and exit on time, to follow all security and safety rules applicable there, to get them searched during entry and exit and not to do any misconduct. Misconduct can be like any type of insubordination, defiance, deception, non- compliance of company procedures, corruption, harm to employer’s property, taking bribe, habitual absenteeism, habitual late coming at work, disorderly behaviour, habitual negligence of work, any illegal work or illegal involvement in strike/dharna/bandh against management, etc 
  • To comply all applicable Company Safety, Health, Welfare and Company’s HR Policy, Hence to follow all compliance applicable as an employee/workmen/ apprentice ( whatsoever the designation is there) including not to divulge any confidential matter and trade secrets of employer’s business to any third party. 
  • In any industrial establishment where manufacturing process-related risks are present and whenever management organise relevant training and awareness training programs  then all workmen and employees including apprentices/ badlis / temporary etc. to attend training programs and to follow applicable guidelines, to use appropriate safety gears and not to misuse employers’ equipment, machinery or property ( Section 111 of the Factories Act, 1948 )
  • Not to refuse to work in shifts / at overtime whenever there is exigency of work at the company.

3. Managers:

The manager of the Company includes the Head of department or person employed in any managerial or administrative capacity. 

Duties of Manages:

As the managers are delegated the power to work on behalf of the employer, So Manager of any Company is personally believed responsible for the appropriate and truthful compliance of the Standing Orders.

Conclusion

The implementation of standing order within an industrial establishment is binding on all persons associated with it i.e.  Employer, employees, trade unions, workmen of all classes in which there may be all genders i.e. male, female and transgender.


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