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Employment Security Regulations And Dispute Resolution Mechanism In India And Pakistan

The goals of the labour laws of India and Pakistan are to uphold worker rights and guarantee a safe workplace. The Factories Act of 1948, the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, and the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act of 1952 are the most significant legislation that safeguard employees' rights. These rules control pay, working conditions, and how conflicts between employees and employers are resolved.

The Factories Act, 1934, the West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1968, and the Minimum Wages for Unskilled Workers Ordinance, 1969 are the main labour regulations of Pakistan. These regulations deal with things like pay, working hours, and workplace security.

There are several differences between the labour laws of India and Pakistan but this blog majorly focuses on the employment security and dispute resolution mechanism adopted by both the countries.

Employment Security

An employee's right not to be terminated unfairly or without cause is a present day characteristic of the law governing termination of employment. This right is not universal, despite being prevalent in the legal systems of many nations.

A lot of organisations and employer communities feel that having rigorous procedures for firing an employee makes it more difficult to bring on new staff. They contend that it makes it more difficult for an organisation to swiftly adjust to change and make changes, which lowers output and efficiency

Employment Security in India
The key legislation that governs the termination of an employee are The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act (IESA), enacted in 1946, and the Industrial Disputes Act (IDA), enacted in 1947.

According to Indian legislation the workers are categorised under 5 categories. Those are permanent, probationary, badli, temporary, casual, and apprentice.

Termination of employment can be conducted in following way:

  1. The employment contract may terminate without the employer's involvement in two circumstances: employee retirement and the conclusion of a fixed-term agreement.
  2. According to Indian law, there are three basic ways to terminate an employee's employment by employer: termination for misbehaviour, discharge, and retrenchment.

An employer must give one month's notice or pay the permanent employee in lieu of the notice if they want to lawfully terminate the employee's employment. There is no need for notice when an employee is liable to summary dismissal due to serious misbehaviour. There is no need to provide notice to badli, probationary employees, or temporary workers. The amount is calculated at 15 days of average pay for each year of service that has been completed.

Employment security in Pakistan

The principal laws governing the dismissal of employee in Pakistan are The West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1968 (ICEO), and the Industrial Relations Ordinance, 1969 (IRO).

The employees protected under the West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance may not be terminated of employment without a valid and supported justification. Both terminations for cause and terminations simplicitor are subject to this provision. Permanent employees covered under the West Pakistan Shops and Establishments Ordinance or the West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance are required to give notice of termination.

According to the West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, employees who have had their employment terminated for any reason other than misconduct are entitled to severance pay or a gratuity equal to 30 days' worth of wages for each year of service that has been completed, or any portion thereof, that is longer than six months.

Dispute Resolution Mechanism

The connection between employers and employees in modern industrial society is one of the most delicate and difficult topics. Conflict between management and employees is inherent in industries. The other encourages a greater quality of living, whereas the first encourages more investment and profits. These two opposing goals may be momentarily adjusted according to the idea of give and take.

Collective bargaining is one method for addressing issues between the employer and the workforce. This method of resolving disputes was developed with respect to power and stability of the trade union administration. Before the advent of collective bargaining, it was extremely difficult for workers to negotiate reasonable terms with employers for service contracts.

The growth of trade unions in the country and the adoption of collective bargaining led to the realisation by employers that dealing with the representatives of the workers is more convenient and necessary than dealing with individual workers, for the creation or modification of contracts and in the matter of taking disciplinary action against the workers

Dispute Resolution Mechanism in India

The purpose of the Industrial Disputes Act,1947 was to create the processes and tools required for the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes in order to resolve them and maintain industrial peace and harmony.

The Industrial Dispute Act,1947 gives it the power to refer disputes to non-adjudicatory or adjudicatory methods of dispute resolution.

Apart from "Voluntary Arbitration," the non-adjudicatory authorities are "Works Committees," "Conciliation Officer," "Board of Conciliation," and "Court of Inquiry." The mandatory adjudication authorities are "Labour Courts," "Industrial Tribunals," and "National Tribunals." The High Court or Supreme Court can hear the matter when the appropriate processes with adjudicatory or non-adjudicatory agencies have been completed.

The Industrial Disputes Act lists collective bargaining, mediation, conciliation, investigation, arbitration, and adjudication as the primary methods of conflict resolution.

The employer shall establish, in accordance with the rules under this Act, a Grievance Settlement Authority for the resolution of labour disputes involving a specific workman employed in the establishment, with respect to every industrial establishment in which fifty or more workers are employed or have been employed on any day in the previous twelve months

Dispute Resolution Mechanism in Pakistan

Within 90 days after the day on which the cause of the grievance emerges, a worker may notify his employer of his grievance in writing, either directly or through his shop steward or collective bargaining representative. When a worker notifies an employer of a grievance through a shop steward or collective bargaining representative, the employer must notify the shop steward or agent in writing of his decision within seven days. A Tripartite Council with a minimum of three representatives from the government, employers, and employees would assess worker issues in the Islamabad Capital Territory. A collective bargaining agent has the right to share his opinions with the Works Council if the employer or agent believes that a labour conflict has already occurred or is about to do so. If there is still no agreement, the matter may be taken to labour court.

The comparative analysis of labour laws in India and Pakistan reveals both similarities and differences between the two countries. While both India and Pakistan have established comprehensive legal frameworks to protect the rights and welfare of their respective workforce, there are notable distinctions in their approach and implementation.

Both countries have made significant progress in enacting laws that cover various aspects of employment, such as Employment Security and Dispute Resolution Mechanism. However, challenges persist in ensuring effective enforcement of these laws, particularly in the informal sector where workers often face exploitation and lack access to legal protections.

One key difference between India and Pakistan is the level of flexibility in their labour laws. India has seen recent reforms aimed at liberalizing its labour laws and promoting ease of doing business, while Pakistan has opted for a more regulated approach with stringent labour laws to protect workers' rights. This has led to differences in areas such as hiring and firing practices, collective bargaining, and unionization. Labour laws of Pakistan do not include white collar workers in the definition of employee or worker rendering those class of people remedy less in case of exploitation.

Despite the differences, both India and Pakistan face similar challenges in effectively implementing and enforcing their labour laws, such as inadequate enforcement mechanisms, lack of awareness among workers, and weak compliance by employers. Both countries need to address these challenges and take steps to ensure that their labour laws are effectively enforced, and the rights and welfare of workers are protected.

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