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India: Industrial relations

Original and updating author: Kochhar & Co


  • Registered trade unions have various rights and protections, although union recognition is not compulsory in most cases. (See Trade unions and recognition)
  • Where an employer recognises a trade union representing employees defined as "workmen", it is an unlawful "unfair labour practice" for the employer to refuse to bargain collectively, in good faith, with the union. (See Collective bargaining and agreements)
  • Employers have no general statutory obligation to inform and consult employees, directly or through trade unions or other representatives, on business or employment matters, although certain information requirements apply in the case of employees defined as "workmen". (See Informing and consulting employees - general)
  • Specific statutory rules relating to redundancy apply only to employees defined as "workmen". The relevant legislation does not provide specifically for the consultation of employees about planned redundancies, but does require advance notice and the notification and, in some cases, authorisation of the public labour authorities. (See Informing and consulting prior to redundancies)
  • There is no statutory obligation on employers to inform and/or consult employees, directly or through trade unions or other representatives, prior to business transfers. (See Informing and consulting prior to transfers)
  • There is a statutory machinery for the resolution of industrial disputes relating to employees defined as "workmen", involving conciliation, arbitration, labour courts and industrial tribunals. (See Industrial disputes)
  • Strikes by workmen are prohibited while a dispute is subject to conciliation, arbitration or court/tribunal proceedings, and while any collective agreement, conciliation settlement or award made by a court, tribunal or arbitrator is in force, in respect of any of the matters covered by the agreement, settlement or award. (See Industrial action)