Monday, June 3, 2019

THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE  Our Bureau Bengaluru | June 02, 2019



To approach court against the order granting exemption to the industry for five more years


Despite stiff opposition from trade unions, the Karnataka Government has exempted the IT/ ITeS sector from implementing the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, for a further period of five years. The standing orders protect employees and covers service conditions such appointment, hours of work, layoffs and retrenchment, obligations and duties of employees. It sets a benchmark on the part of the employees to define and inform workers of the terms and conditions of employment.

Labour unions have several times opposed the exemption given to the IT/ITeS sector and have raised the issue with the Labour Commissioner. They now plan to seek the court’s intervention in overturning the latest order.

The exemption had run its course by the end of January this year. But the State Government extended the exemption from May 24 this year for another five years. IT/ITES companies are registered under the Karnataka Shops and Establishments Act, 1961, to which the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, is attached, and hence come under the purview of the standing order.

The exemption is also applicable to start-ups, animation, gaming, computer graphics, telecom, BPO, KPO and other knowledge-based industries, the May 25 notification said. Nasscom had approached the Department of IT & BT last December, seeking exemption from the standing order.

The exemption comes with some conditions which include constitution of internal committees as per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, forming grievance redressal committee to address any complaint by employee; intimating the Labour Department on disciplinary action like suspension, discharge, termination, demotion and dismissal; and sharing of data related to workplace when sought by the government.

About 1,800 companies have not complied with most of these conditions, sources in the Labour Department said.

Satyanand M, Secretary of AITUC Bengaluru, said: “Barring one consultation meeting that was not inclusive, the Government did not have discussions with all the stakeholders. It is disappointing that despite several representations to implement the standing order in the IT sector by trade unions, the government has chosen to exempt the sector,” he added.

“We will seek legal recourse against this order as it is anti-labour welfare,” he said.

Published on June 02, 2019

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